Actual football is still three days away, but there is always plenty of news coming from Super Bowl week. Ravens blog Baltimore Beatdown is on top of things, and they have been hitting the analysis hard all week. That continued on Wednesday, with topics ranging from player comparison, to Zodiac predictions.
Bruce Raffel took a look at how the two most high-profile linebackers from each team in the matchup and how they compare. Ray Lewis and Patrick Willis are at different stages in their career, but they've both performed well in the playoffs. Raffel compared the two:
The 2013 post season is a better indication, although Lewis' Ravens played three games while Willis;' 49ers only had to play twice to get to the Super Bowl. Lewis led all players in tackles (44) while Willis led all linebackers not wearing Ravens jerseys with 19 tackles. Lewis averaged almost 15 tackles per game, while Willis averaged almost ten in his two game.
Raffel is a veteran of the Super Bowl, and even saw his favorite team take the title in 2000. His brother-in-law found a unique way to get in the game, and benefitted from an entrepreneurial temporary employee:
Anyway, we walked to the stadium and a food vendor snuck my brother-in-law into the game for $600, giving him a vendor shirt and badge, but no ticket.
The player comparisons continued when Raffel took a look at the two feature running backs. He found that Baltimore's main guy may have the advantage because of his versatility:
The difference between the two backs appears more evident when the ball is in the air. Rice caught 61 passes in the regular season compared to 28 for Gore, and for twice as many receiving yards.
The Super Bowl is as much a gambling event as it is a football event, and the early money came in for Baltimore. The line has since frozen, but there was good reason for the movement early:
Baltimore's recent playoff performance caused a lot of bets to be made on the Ravens early after the line was set, but now that it settled at 3½ points, money is coming in on the 49ers as well with the betting nearly even on both sides.
Finally, with all the coverage of the Super Bowl there is never a stone unturned. Baltimore Beatdown may have found the last one when it took a look at how the two teams matchup in terms of Zodiac signs. It appears the Ravens' quarterback has the advantage because of the way his sign meshes with his receivers:
Now, for Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco's astrological forecast: As the Capricorn QB of our birds, Flacco is a steadfast, determined, and capable captain who tends to shy away from the spotlight. As a focused, anything-can-happen leader, Joe’s relationships with Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith are rock-solid, almost as if written in the stars.
Be sure to stick with Baltimore Beatdown all week long for the best coverage from a Ravens perspective. The coverage will continue through Sunday and beyond, when the analysis will switch from what may happen to what did happen.