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Super Bowl XLVII-13 Biggest Storylines to Watch in the Big Game

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This is for all the marbles!

Two teams, two brothers and four quarters of football to decide who will be crowned Super Bowl Champions.

In the blue corner representing the AFC are the Baltimore Ravens led by their star quarterback Joe Flacco and defensive leader Ray Lewis.

The Ravens have had to overcome plenty of adversity on their way too New Orleans and eliminated two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks from the Playoffs along the way.

With the passing of their former owner Art Modell at the beginning of the season and with Ray Lewis playing in his final game as a Raven, Baltimore won’t be short of motivation for this one as the go in search of their second Super Bowl win.

In the red corner representing the NFC are the San Francisco 49ers who are back after the golden years of stars like Joe Montana, Steve Young and Jerry Rice to try and win their first Super Bowl since 1994.

The 49ers have had a truly incredible season and after making a quarterback switch in Week 11 from Alex Smith to Colin Kapernick and they now find themselves just one win away from being crowned Super Bowl champions for a sixth time.

So with the world watching and the Mercedez-Benz Superdome in New Orleans awaiting, it all comes down to Super Bowl XLVII next Sunday night.

With one week to go, here are my 13 biggest storylines to watch in the big game.

Harbaugh vs Harbaugh

Judging by recent season storylines, one would be forgiven for thinking that Hollywood writers have been hired by the NFL to write scripts for the blockbuster movie that is: an NFL season.

After last year’s dramatics involving quarterback Tim Tebow and the cultural phenomenon that was ‘Tebowing,’ we now have an even more Hollywoodesque storyline involving two brothers.

Older brother John Harbaugh (Head Coach of the Baltimore Ravens) will go head to head with his younger brother Jim (Head Coach of the San Francisco 49ers) on the biggest stage of all, the Super Bowl.

The Harbaugh Bowl features two of the best coaches in football right now and is almost worthy of its own film.

The Harbaugh Bowl: Two Brothers Collide

Tom Cruise uses his football knowledge gained from Jerry Maguire to take on the role of older brother John and Brad Pitt trades baseball strategy from Moneyball for blitz packages to play as Jim.

Ray Lewis

Ray Lewis summed up the moment perfectly after the AFC Championship Game and said “this is our time.”

#52 is looking for one final victory before he leaves the game for good and retires.

Can Lewis complete his Hall of Fame career by bowing out on top and winning the Super Bowl?

Randy Moss

Lining up on offense across from Ray Lewis will be another one of the game’s all-time greats in Randy Moss.

Unlike Lewis, Moss is playing for his fifth NFL team and is looking to pick up his first Super Bowl ring.

Will the veteran who began playing all the way back in 1998 step up and be the x-factor for the 49ers offense?

Michael Oher

Michael Oher’s story really is a Hollywood one after the successful book and film The Blind Side.

The once homeless teenager makes his way to the Super Bowl as “Big Mike” gets ready to protect Joe Flacco.

Is there a Hollywood ending in store for Oher?

Patrick Willis

Just like Michael Oher, Patrick Willis is a fellow Ole Miss Rebel with another heartwarming story to tell.

He had personal troubles of his own and was adopted at the age of 17 after difficulties with his father.

Will Willis lead the 49ers to a victory over Michael Oher and the Ravens?

Quarterback Battle

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has been brilliant in the Playoffs and is playing the best football of his career.

49ers quarterback Colin Kapernick faces the toughest test of his career in just his 11th NFL start.

Who will come out on top in this crucial battle for quarterback supremacy?

Ravens Wide Receivers vs 49ers Secondary

Ravens wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith are one of the best duos in the NFL.

The 49ers secondary is struggling and they face a tough test to contain these two.

Can Torrey Smith put on a Julio Jones like performance vs the 49ers secondary?

49ers Running Game vs Ravens Run Defense

The 49ers running game will be crucial for their offense as they look to exploit their clear speed advantage.

Starter Frank Gore is helped out by backup LaMichael James along with the running threat of Kaepernick.

How will Haloti Ngata and co. deal with the 49ers rushing ability?

Kickers

The battle of the kickers has the potential to be the biggest storyline of them all.

Ravens rookie Justin Tucker is in terrific form whilst 49ers veteran David Akers looks highly inconsistent.

Does experience or youth prevail if the game comes down to a last second field goal?

National Anthem

So now we get to the Super Bowl traditions with the National Anthem first on the list.

Alicia Keys will be performing this year’s rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Will her performance bring Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis to tears?

TV Ads

Super Bowl ads are a pretty big deal which is why companies pay up to $3 million for a 30 second commercial.

Popular commercials to watch out for include Coca-Cola and Doritos.

Will any of this year’s crop join this illustrious list of greatest commercials in Super Bowl history?

Halftime Show

After a mixed performance from Madonna last year, this year’s Halftime show looks a lot more promising.

Beyonce is set to perform fresh off her performance at President Barack Obama’s Inauguration.

Will Destiny’s Child re-unite on stage or will husband Jay-Z join her for an encore?

Verdict

Sorry 49ers fans but when it comes down to the final outcome of the Harbaugh Bowl, I’m picking the Ravens to get the win with an MVP performance from Joe Flacco to give Ray Lewis the perfect ending to his legendary career.

49ers 19 Ravens 30

So there is my preview and prediction for Super Bowl XLVII.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the game!

Follow @PodgeOH

NFL Draft: 5 Possible Targets For The Chargers On Day Two

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LaMichael James

With Round 1 out of the way, it’s time to look ahead to the second day of the draft with Rounds 2-3.

The Chargers selected Melvin Ingram with the 18th overall pick and are likely to look towards improving the defense again with their couple next picks.

Offensively, the only needs that the team should be looking to improve on are finding a new backup running back and adding depth to the offensive line.

In Rounds 2-3, the Chargers hold the 49th and 78th overall picks respectively. I shall be looking at the best players still available that may be of interest to the Chargers.

But who should the team be targeting? Let’s find out.

Position: Guard/Offensive Tackle

College: Iowa State

Height: 6′ 5″

Weight: 333 lbs

Big Board Ranking: 34th Overall

Overview

Osemele is a talented prospect but he will need a lot of coaching in the NFL. Although he has the right size and power needed to succeed as an offensive lineman, he sometimes struggles in his technique and will have to learn to improve sooner rather than later.

A dominant run blocker, He would be worth taking in the second round if he’s still available at 49 overall. With the retirement of Kris Dielman, the Chargers could use another guard. Osemele would push Tyronne Green for a starting spot at left guard.

Position: Offensive Tackle

College: Stanford

Height: 6′ 5″

Weight: 312 lbs

Big Board Ranking: 36th Overall

Overview

Martin will be coveted by many teams early in Round 2 and so the Chargers may have to stay put and hope to get lucky just like they did with Ingram in Round 1. He was a surprise omission from the first round even though he rated as the Draft’s third best tackle behind Matt Kalil and Riley Reiff.

Martin is a solid pass protector and also a powerful and aggressive run blocker. Questions have been raised over his ability to play at left tackle in the NFL but he is more than capable of making the switch to right tackle if need be. He would compete with Jeromey Clary at right tackle.

Position: Cornerback

College: North Alabama

Height: 5′ 10″

Weight: 193 lbs

Big Board Ranking: 61st Overall

Overview

With Janoris Jenkins, it’s tough to find a place to start. Take away all the off-field issues and there’s no doubting his ability as a football player.

The Chargers are looking to add another cornerback to the mix with veteran Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason as the established starters. Many teams are reportedly interested in taking Jenkins in Round 2 but that doesn’t mean he is sure to hear his name called. A.J. Smith isn’t usually willing to take a risk on a player like this but that won’t stop him from taking a look if he slips all the way to Round 3.

Position: Safety

College: Boise State:

Height: 6′ 4″

Weight: 225 lbs

Big Board Ranking: 67th Overall

Overview

Iloka has been a solid contributor to the Boise State defense throughout his four years with the school. He is usually stout against the run but can sometimes struggle in coverage.

With Eric Weddle as the only established safety on the roster, the Chargers may be looking to bring in a player to create some competition in the secondary. After missing out on safeties Mark Barron and Harrison Smith, Iloka is the best rated player available.

Position: Running Back

College: Oregon

Height: 5′ 8″

Weight: 194 lbs

Big Board Ranking: 76th Overall

Overview

James is likely to be highly coveted for teams looking to find a new change of pace back. An elusive runner who can also be valuable to the passing game, James would be the ideal candidate to serve as backup to starter Ryan Mathews.

Mathews is yet to complete a full season with the team and hasn’t yet shaken off his injury prone tag. With Tolbert gone to the Carolina Panthers, the Chargers are still looking for a new backup running back. If James is still available by the time the Chargers are on the clock in Round 3, look for the team to take a chance on this talented playmaker from Oregon.

So those are my possible targets for the Chargers in Rounds 2-3.

Follow me on twitter for further updates

Follow @PodgeOH

Written by podgeoh92

April 27, 2012 at 5:04 pm

San Diego Chargers Draft: Mid- to Late- Round Prospects to add to the Offense

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Vincent Brown

Every year in the Draft, there are always mid- to late- round gems who surprise everyone and become stars.

Take last year’s Draft for example. The Chargers selected San Diego State wide receiver Vincent Brown in the 3rd round and after a promising Rookie Season, he now looks set to continue that form into this season as the number 3 receiver.

This year’s Draft should be no different and don’t be surprised to see some future stars picked outside Rounds 1-2.

I’ll now be looking at which mid- to late- round prospects the Chargers should add to the offense. (I’ll be looking at mid to late round defensive prospects next week)

But which players should the Chargers target? Let’s find out.

LaMichael James

LaMichael James- Running Back- Oregon

Overview: In hindsight, perhaps LaMichael James should have declared for the 2011 Draft instead of returning for another season at Oregon. An elusive back who has elite speed speed, the biggest question mark about him is: Does he have the ability to be an every down back in the NFL? In short, the answer to that question is no.

The main problem is his lack of size and he hasn’t shown the capability of withstanding the type of hits that he’s likely to face in the NFL. He’s more of a complimentary back who can come in on 3rd down and in passing situations.

James would be a great weapon to add to the backfield and would be a dynamic backup to starter Ryan Mathews.

NFL Comparison: Darren Sproles

Projected Round: 2nd-3rd

Nate Potter

Nate Potter- Offensive Tackle- Boise State

Overview: Potter is a versatile offensive lineman who can play at both tackle and guard. A redshirt senior, he has been a leader on the Boise State offensive line for the past two seasons.  He would be a solid player to bring in to compete with Jeromey Clary at right tackle. He could also compete with Tyronne Green for the starting left guard spot.

The knock on his game is that he doesn’t possess one skill which is particularly great. He isn’t the fastest or strongest offensive tackle in this year’s Draft, nor does he possess the best technique.

Potter is perfectly suited to play right tackle in the NFL where he would usually be facing slightly slower pass rushers than if he was playing at left tackle.

NFL Comparison: Nate Solder

Projected Round: 4th-5th

LaVon Brazill

LaVon Brazill- Wide Receiver- Ohio

Overview: A fifth-year senior, Brazill is coming off his best season at Ohio in which he had 1150 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. He has above average speed and is very explosive off the line of scrimmage. He’s also a decent route-runner and would definitely be worth taking a risk on in the latter rounds.

The biggest question mark with his game is inconsistency. With only one solid season at Ohio, many scouts will be wondering if he’s just another one year wonder. He may also need to improve his strength if he is to beat off NFL defenders at the line of scrimmage.

Despite not being somewhat of a project player, Brazill would still be a nice addition to add to the offense.

NFL Comparison: Victor Cruz

Projected Round: 6th-7th

So those are my mid- to late- round offensive targets for the Chargers. Check back next week as I reveal my defensive targets.

Follow me on twitter for further updates. https://twitter.com/PodgeOH92

Thanks for reading.

Written by podgeoh92

March 26, 2012 at 7:41 am