Super Bowl XLVII – The Brothers Harbaugh
By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor
PHILADELPHIA (BASN – STR/ITR) The NFL Representatives for this year’s Super Bowl will be The San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens!
Here now the view from the Armchair Press Box:
The ‘Niners managed to pick away at the Atlanta Falcons after they raced off to a 17 – 0 lead early in the first half. Quarterback Matt Ryan used his big receivers, Julio Jones and Roddy White with great effectiveness as they ate up a lotta clock while putting points up on the board.
Defensively, San Francisco wasn’t so much outplayed as TE Tony Gonzalez and Jones (in particular) was bailing out Ryan with money grabs as they moved the sticks.
Colin Kaepernick, clearly under the klieg lights more for being elevated to starter at QB than his overall ability to general, was patient in his approach to exploiting the Falcons’ defense.
Opting to beat up the Dirty Birds internally, Frank Gore turned in a yeoman effort with over 90 yards on 21 carries; Kaepernick did not run as expected but more than made up any presence as a runner by going to his tight end Vernon Davis in key situations as Seattle’s Russell Wilson did in a previous playoff game, carving Atlanta’s secondary.
After a 24-14 first half, San Fran shut out the Falcons, with an interception by Ryan and stalled drives against them keeping the cause pointless.
As the ‘Niners moved the ball by air for several first downs, Kaepernick was surgical, throwing several fastballs that would make Satchel Paige smile into their Red Zone. From there LaMichael James and Gore did the damage on the ground.
A fumble near the goal line on a slant – pattern reception by Michael Crabtree and a missed 38 – yard field goal by David Akers (now zero for three in money kicks with Kaepernick as starter) took 10 potential points off the board.
While the result was different than last week versus Seattle, the Falcons still wore down in the stretch, but minus Seahawk HC Pete Carrill’s being too clever in the “time out” FG attempt, most observed that in spite of their regular – season success, no one really had touted Atlanta as a Super Bowl team.
So the QB nicknamed “Matty Ice” elevated to Tony Romo status (won one playoff game) and melted into the sunset. I feel badly for Gonzalez, who should be a first ballot Hall of Famer not getting his ring, but it’s a bigger indictment of Ryan’s lack of coming through when it mattered most.
Meanwhile, in Boston, Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco, playing his third conference championship game in five years, finally broke through on the road against Belicheat and the Patriots.
Flacco threw for three TDs (two to WR Anquan Boldin) and was given good support from the running game; the Raven defense chipped in with an interception and fumble recovery by MLB Ray Lewis after a wicked stick by strong safety Bernard Pollard on RB Stephen Ridley.
Finding success down the seams, Flacco lit up the Patriot defense as he worked the middle of the field via TE Dennis Pitta and WR Torrey Smith. The Pats’ effort on D was further compromised with losses to CB Aqib Talib and S Patrick Chung during the game.
The so – called genius of HC Bill Belichick never showed its face, from beginning to end; and when I say ‘End’ – I mean it. Once the game was no longer in doubt, as celebrations were beginning and interviews were commencing, Belicheat punked out on an interview, sending S Devin McCourty to face the press at the podium.
The game was carried nationwide on the Columbia Broadcast System (CBS) and as the post – game analysis was going to get even more anal, up steps Shannon Sharpe to offer a moment of clarity to offset any further alibis for Belichick’s bullshit:
“There’s something to be said about being gracious in defeat,” said Sharpe. “We’ve seen the New England Patriots five times in the last 12 years be victorious (in the AFC championship game). We’ve seen the opposing coaches who lost come out and talk to our Steve Tasker. Coach [Bill] Cowher did it when they lost to them, we saw this last week.
“Bill Belichick makes it real easy for you to root against the Patriots. You can’t be a poor sport all the time. You’re not going to win all the time, and he does this every time he loses – it’s unacceptable.”
I have seen this arrogance first hand in the interview room. I was there when the New York Giants defeated New England’s “perfect” plans in Super Bowl XLII. That he snubbed the station that sucks his jock 24/7/365 was probably apropos, but lacking class nonetheless.
So the meeting of The Brothers Harbaugh is but one of several intriguing sub-plots to the Vince Lombardi Trophy:
Both coaches walk into SB XLVII winning with exactly 28 points.
Will Ray Lewis’ last dance earn him another ring?
Could Joe Flacco’s timing (contract) be any more impeccable?
In a league of elite players, will Ed Reed go down as the greatest free safety ever to play the game? (I say ‘yes’ win or lose – no one else is close. Sorry, Troy Polamulu);
Will Anquan Boldin get justice for being falsely pegged by League observers because he dared raise his voice to Todd Haley during the Arizona Cardinals playoff run?
Will Terrell Suggs sizzle one more time to snatch up that ring?
Can Tyrod Taylor smile knowing he was right in sticking to his guns in coming into the League as a QB instead of being forced to play another position (following Tony Banks as another Field General to pick up a ring)?
Will this game culminate in John Harbaugh’s best coaching effort thus far?
For San Francisco:
Will Colin Kaepernick get his Disney World commercial if the ‘Niners win (perhaps doing his best Doug Williams impression)?
Will Randy Moss finally get his ring (he deserves it; and it would be a nice touch of karma after being kicked to the curb by New England) and get credit for his football acumen in raising the play of the teams’ receivers?
Can the “Smith Brothers” get off their asses and jam Baltimore’s hopes with sacks and sustained pocket pressure?
Will Alex Smith leave his heart in San Francisco (but step off with a ring and new team)?
Will Kaepernick remember Vernon Davis in the TE/SS matchup with Old School ass kicker Bernard Pollard?
Will OL Anthony Davis finally finish off a solid career with a ring?
Will Jim Harbaugh be hailed as a genius for his move in elevating Kaepernick?
A few things to ponder over some red beans ‘n rice as we’re two weeks away from New Orleans!
To be continued…always outnumbered; never outgunned.
Copyright (c) 2013 Michael – Louis Ingram all rights reserved.