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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?


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?


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


Monday Night Football- 49ers at Cardinals Preview

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Larry Fitzgerald

After yesterday’s exciting action, Week 8 comes to a close tonight with an NFC West divisional battle as the San Francisco 49ers travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals.

The game will be live on ESPN in America and on the BBC Red Button in Ireland.

So without further ado, here is a full preview of Monday Night Football Week 8.

San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals

Justin Smith

Stadium– University of Phoenix Stadium

Kick Off- 5:30 p.m. in Arizona/1:30 a.m. in Ireland

What to Watch

John Skelton

John Skelton and the Cardinals Passing Game

  • Things haven’t been going so well for the Cardinals passing game lately. The Cards are yet to win a game since John Skelton stepped back in for injured starter Kevin Kolb.
  • The main problem has been the lack of production for the Cards outside of star wideout Larry Fitzgerald. Just to make matters worse, the 49ers have the number one ranked defense in the league against the pass and so things should be tough for Skelton, Fitzgerald and co. to get going through the air tonight.

Cardinals Offensive Line vs 49ers Front Seven

  • It’s no secret that the Cardinals offensive line has struggled this year and it doesn’t get any easier for them tonight against the 49ers front seven. In fact, the Cards offensive line have given up a staggering 35 sacks in their seven games which puts them on pace for the second highest total in NFL history.
  • On the opposite side of the ball comes arguably the best front seven in football including star linebacker Patrick Willis and ferocious defensive end Justin Smith. The 49ers have the advantage in this matchup.

49ers Wide Receivers vs Cardinals Cornberbacks

  • 49ers quarterback Alex Smith has one of the deepest wide receiver groups in the game right now with starters Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham joined by veteran Randy Moss on the outside. Crabtree has been Smith’s most reliable go-to-target so far in this campaign with 34 catches for 368 yards.
  • Covering this talented group of receivers tonight will be a Cardinals cornerback unit led by sophomore star Patrick Peterson. Peterson will likely be tasked with stopping #15 for the Niners in a crucial battle.

Who to Watch

Randy Moss

Randy Moss- Wide Receiver- 49ers

  • I mentioned earlier how effective Michael Crabtree has been for the 49ers passing game but it’s his fellow wide receiver Randy Moss who will be the standout player to watch tonight. Moss hasn’t been a major contributor on offense so far this season and has just 12 catches along with 1 receiving touchdown.
  • However, at some point he will surely step up and have a big game for his new team. I’m backing Moss to shine in this one and put on a show in front of the Prime time cameras.

Justin Smith- Defensive End- 49ers

  • Justin Smith was voted the NFL’s most underrated player by his peers in a Sports Illustrated poll this month and it’s easy to see why when you see Smtih play on tape. Smith is one of the few defensive linemen in the league who can be both a dominant run stopper along with a dangerous pass rusher.
  • He may 33-years-old but that hasn’t stopped him from recording over 50 tackles in each season of his career. Expect Smith to dominant again tonight against the Cardinals offensive line.

John Skelton- Quarterback- Cardinals

  • It is quite difficult to figure out Cardinals quarterback John Skelton due to his limited playing time with the team. In each of his three years as a pro he has been called on to start for the Cardinals, but he is yet to do so with any real consistency based off his 14-19 career touchdown-interception ratio.
  • His career completion percentage is also a worrying statistic for Cardinals fans with just 53.1% of his passes complete. Skelton must improve tonight if the Cards are going to have any chance of an upset.


Alex Smith

I’m expecting this game to be a close one with all the makings off a defensive battle.

If this turns out to be correct, the 49ers would clearly have the edge with a far superior defense led by standout players like Patrick Willis and Justin Smith.

49ers 20 Cardinals 9

So that’s your preview and prediction, hope everyone enjoys the big game.

Follow @PodgeOH