5 things to watch in Super Bowl

5 things to watch in Super Bowl
January 20, 2013, 10:30 pm
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Flacco: 'It feels good in general.'

There’s going to be a number of interesting topics to watch in the Ravens-49ers Super Bowl in two weeks. Here’s five things to look out for in the big game.

The main subject that everyone will look forward to is the Harbaugh v. Harbaugh match-up. These are two brothers who are very close with big-time Baltimore connections. In case some of you forget, Jim Harbaugh was the starting quarterback for the Ravens in 1998 with 12 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 14 games. John Harbaugh’s been the coach here for five years. There is going to be a special kind of emotion in this contest.

The second biggest thing – or first to others – is the Ray Lewis situation. Not many people gave the Ravens a chance because of how poorly they played in the final part of the season, but when Lewis announced his retirement at the start of the post-season it truly seemed to fire up the Ravens. The Ravens clearly wanted to send Lewis off with a Super Bowl trophy, and they’re one step away.

Third, it's easy to see that this post-season has been kind of an official coming-out party for quarterback Joe Flacco. He helped carry them in last week’s win over Denver and came up big again in the win over the Patriots. Flacco completed 21 of 36 for 240 yards and three touchdowns, all three of which came in the second half as the Ravens outscored the Patriots, 21-0, and took control en route to their second berth in the Super Bowl. He’s now thrown eight TDs without an interception in the post-season and is a huge reason for the team’s success.

Fourth, special teams could be fun to watch, especially for those who like the Ravens. Justin Tucker is a rookie, but the Baltimore kicker has been one of the NFL’s top ones so far. Playoff games often come down to clutch kicks, and 49ers have had all kinds of kicking problems. David Akers struggled all season and missed a 38-yard field goal in the NFC title game win over Atlanta Sunday, and San Francisco nearly went to former Raven kicker Billy Cundiff – remember him? - last week. Might that happen again in the Super Bowl?

And fifth, can the Baltimore defense shut down a San Francisco offense that’s been powerful throughout the post-season. The 49ers bounced back from a 17-0 deficit to edge Atlanta, 28-24, in Sunday’s NFC title game. Colin Kaepernick has been dynamic since he took over as the starting quarterback with the 49ers, and the Ravens will need to stop his running and passing skills, something that can be tough to do and a real test.