The Super Bowl is fast approaching as the two remaining teams standing will meet in an epic battle this Sunday to decide who will be king of this pigskin mountain. In each corner of this Super Bowl heavyweight fight sits a Haurbaugh. Better yet, in each corner of this contest sits a Haurbaugh who has NEVER lost a game after a bye week of any kind. Both coaches are a combined 9-0-1 in these situations.
So, with the rock and the hard place set to clash in Super Bowl XLVII, who will ultimately reign supreme?
We have your answer right below as we break down the game to its five most fundamental and pivotal points: offense, defense, coaching, ego and the all-important likeability.
No animals were harmed in the making of this list....
Offense: San Francisco 49ers
The Baltimore Ravens deploy a powerful play action deep passing game based on the solid rushing ability of running back Ray Rice. However, the Ravens tend to forget about Rice as the game progresses and just goes into 'Flacco throws deep' mode. Plus, Flacco isn't exactly Mr. Scrambles back there so if the 49ers can get any type of pass rush, it's going to be a long day for Joe Cool.
San Francisco, on the other hand, fields a much more balanced offense based on the extreme athleticism of quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick's ability to run it as well, as accurately gun-it, gives the 49ers the edge on the offensive side of the ball.
Ego: Baltimore Ravens
When it comes to pro athletes in any sport, it's almost like they have the market cornered on ego and self-importance. During the media rounds this week leading up to the big game, 49ers wide receiver Randy Moss proclaimed himself the 'greatest receiver ever to do it'. Moss claims that despite his numbers being nowhere near those of Hall of Fame wideout Jerry Rice, that he is the greatest.
Moss continued on this claim repeatedly and stated that he isn't a 'numbers' guy and that Rice's numbers were inflated by the quarterbacks he played for. Oh, he then followed that up by making sure to tell everyone he's a 'humble' man.
As ego-centric as that sounds though, Ray Lewis tops it. During a post-game interview after the Ravens beat the New England Patriots, Lewis pretty much stated that God wanted him to end his career a champion. Ok, maybe Lewis was just caught up in the moment when he said that but, then again, maybe he knows something we don't.
I mean, God is responsible for putting deer on the planet and it was reported that deer-antler velvet spray allowed Lewis to heal so fast and return for the playoffs...so he thinkgs. So......no, I can't do it. Lewis has gotten away with a ton during his career and his unchecked ego has contaminated the entire Ravens squad. God is more than likely not involved with the outcome of Sunday's game but just don't tell Ray Lewis that!
Defense: Baltimore Ravens
In terms of pure statistics, San Francisco holds the edge over Baltimore. The 49ers allow on average 200.2 passing yards and 94.2 rushing yards per game to the Ravens 228.1 passing yards and 122.8 rushing. But the thing is that in a one and done type of game emotion, experience and overall heart can overcome any statistical model and those are the Ravens in a nutshell.
Baltimore used to have the most feared defense in the league and even though that has faded as of late, the core players are still there and they will be primed to relive their glory days come Sunday. In this type of setting, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed trump anything the 49ers have.
Likability: San Francisco
The Baltimore Ravens do field some of the most well known and respected defensive names in the business, but in these offensive-minded days, it's all about the quarterback baby! When you put the two QB's in this game side by side to a likability and style model, Kaepernick of the 49ers far outshines the drab Joe Flacco.
While Colin Kaepernick is taking his tanned, tatted-up bod to the trademark store for his touchdown celebration, Joe 'Flucco” (thank you Skip Bayless) is still fielding questions about his leadership while being worried he might lose the game for his team. No, Kaepernick radiates leadership and energy that Flacco will never equal and in this business, that gets you noticed.
Come on now! How the heck can anyone pick between John Harbaugh and Jim Harbaugh when it comes to who is better? What Jim lacks in experience he makes up for in boldness and an ex-players perspective on the game. If John is lacking in anything he makes it up with a more familiar understanding of his players.
Overall these dudes are just too evenly matched. It's not often that the coach you are going up against in the biggest game of your career is the same snot nosed punk that ratted you out to mom growing up.
And the Winner Will Be......
THE FANS....oh, and the San Francisco 49ers.
Ok, so I know you are looking up at the four categories above and thinking to yourself 'two each means a tie, right?' Well, it isn't because the deciding factor is this. Ray Lewis has 41.5 career sacks and his first ever came at the expense of 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh.
That's right, the younger Harbaugh will be looking for payback in a grand way this Sunday and it will be because of the residual bitterness of THAT SACK that his team will emerge the victor in this tightest of contests.
San Francisco: 27 Baltimore: 24.....and you can take that to the bank.
James LeBeau is a contributor for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
Photo Credit: Getty