It’s the biggest sporting event in North America, taking place in one of the most historic settings in the deep South. It’s Jim vs. John and the lot for the NFL’s top prize—the Vince Lombardi Trophy. With that, our editors make their predictions for Super Bowl XLVII:
Chris Young, Lead Sports Editor
Pick: Ravens 26, 49ers 24
Why the Ravens will win: I’ve been drumming to San Francisco’s beat since Week 11. I prefer Jim Harbaugh’s style to older brother John’s. I like Colin Kaepernick’s dynamism more than I like Joe Flacco’s decision making. On fourth-and-two, I want Frank Gore running off tackle over Ray Rice. And like 99.9 percent of the Bay Area, I loved the 49ers at -4. That was before I flew down to New Orleans for Super Bowl Media Day and everything shifted. On the Superdome floor, the Ravens struck me as the looser team, to say nothing of their experience advantage. I don’t buy into “It’s Destiny” storylines any faster than Charm City beat writers can spin them, but there was certaintly something about this Ravens team that resonated with me. I suspect I’m not alone, and it’s why I like Baltimore on a Justin Tucker game-winning field goal.
MVP: Torrey Smith
Bold prediction: Jerome Boger calls a flawless game.
Not-so-bold prediction: Colin Kaepernick rushes for more yards than Ray Rice.
Jordan Raanan, Sports Editor/NFL Columnist
Pick: 49ers 28, Ravens 17
Why the 49ers will win: I thought at the beginning of the year San Francisco had the most talented roster in the NFL from top to bottom, with the exception of their quarterback. I was never a big Alex Smith fan. I’m still not. Yet I thought the 49ers were so good around Smith that they still had a chance to win the Super Bowl with him as their quarterback. Well, now San Francisco is even better with Colin Kaepernick as the starting quarterback. The Niners’ offense can pass and run, and will have their way on the ground against a susceptible Ravens’ run defense. Baltimore also hasn’t faced a defense of the 49ers caliber in the playoffs. Life is going to be much more difficult for Joe Flacco than it was in the second half picking on the Patriots’ linebackers. Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman and the San Francisco 49ers are a completely different beast. Sorry, Ray-Ray. No happy ending for you. The Ravens’ magical run ends in New Orleans.
MVP: Patrick Willis
Bold prediction: One? Here are 10.
Not-so-bold prediction: Frank Gore has a huge game behind the best offensive line in the NFL.
Dan McQuade, News Editor
Pick: Ravens 17, 49ers 15
Why the Ravens will win: Weird NFL fact: The last three seasons, the team that played the Philadelphia Eagles in their home opener at Lincoln Financial Field won the Super Bowl. The Saints beat the Eagles in 2009, the Packers in 2010 and the Giants in 2011. I don’t know what the Saints’ 2009 Super Bowl run has to do with this year’s NFL, but the rules are the rules: The Baltimore Ravens are going to win the Super Bowl. To make this even funnier, the Ravens actually lost to the Eagles this season, as Michael Vick led the Eagles to a 24-23 comeback win in Week 2. If the football gods have a sense of humor–and the Browns exist, so I have to imagine they do–they’ll make sure the Super Bowl-winning team also lost to one of the worst teams in the NFL this year.
MVP: Ray Lewis
Bold Prediction: The Ravens defense holds Colin Kaepernick and Frank Gore in check and the 49ers settle for five David Akers field goals.
Not-so-bold prediction: Ray Lewis is credited with at least seven tackles where he just jumps on the pile at the end of the play.
Brian Rademaekers, News Editor
Pick: Ravens 28, 49ers 17
Why the Ravens will win: Sure, the 49ers have never lost a Super Bowl… but never say never, quoth the Ravens’ defensive line. The Vegas bookmakers might have San Francisco taking the game by 4.5 points, but, knowing relatively little about football, I’m making my pick based on the sage-like wisdom of Princess—a 26-year-old camel from the Jersey Shore. She’s 7-1 for Super Bowl picks and even had the Giants beating the Pats last year. Golden. That, and Ray Lewis is destined to get another ring, with or without magic deer-antler potion.
MVP: Joe Flacco
Bold prediction: Anquan Boldin will score a touchdown.
Not-so-bold prediction: Katherine Webb will get a screenshot before Jackie Harbaugh.
David Onda, Entertainment Editor
Pick: Ravens 27, 49ers 24
Why the Ravens will win: In a perfect world, all championship games would end like a “Mighty Ducks” movie. This year’s NFL season, as it turns out, is shaping up to end like “The Little Giants”–two brothers, Jim and John Harbaugh, going head-to-head as the coaches of football’s two best teams. Jim, a former Big Ten Player of the Year and NFL Pro-Bowler, brings the storied 49ers franchise back to the Super Bowl with an 11-4-1 record. John, the less famous of the two, leads Baltimore’s band of misfits (the perennially overlooked Joe Flacco, the embattled elder statesmen Ray Lewis) to the big game after squeaking into the playoffs as an AFC wild card. I love a good underdog story. And if this one’s going to have a Hollywood ending, it’ll be John and the Ravens accepting the Lombardi Trophy on Sunday. Sorry, Kaepernick, but if anyone has the skills to pull off “The Annexation of Puerto Rico,” it’s Flacco, Rice, Pitta, Jones and Smith. And you know what? Let’s say the game ends with a field goal in overtime.
MVP: Joe Flacco
Bold prediction: The first overtime in Super Bowl history.
Not-so-bold prediction: Beyonce doesn’t lip-sync.
Follow Chris Young on Twitter @chrisyoung81
Follow Jordan Raanan on Twitter @JordanRaanan
Follow Dan McQuade on Twitter @dhm
Follow Brian Rademaekers on Twitter @BRademaekers
Follow David Onda on Twitter @David_Onda
The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.