Defense wins championships, and the bloggers at Baltimore Beatdown, SB Nation's Ravens community, knows it well. In preparation for the Ravens' Super Bowl showdown with the 49ers, fans of a team long respected for their defensive effort are diving deep into the game specifics on the blog.
In a blog item appropriately titled with the oft-quoted defensive-happy saying, the blog's Bruce Raffel examined the 49ers defense against that of the Ravens, with the 49ers coming out ahead in regular season production. But when the season turned to the postseason, the blog notes the two defenses were equally good.
While the Ravens continue to give up yards to opposing offense's in bunches, they are only giving up an average of a half-yard more than the 49ers (415 vs 414.5 yards/game). A key stat is that despite the closeness in yards allowed, the Ravens are only allowing 4.9 yards per play while the 49ers are allowing 6.8 yards/play.
Elsewhere at the blog, the writers talked about how best to stop 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who Randy Booth noted was on a run of historical proportions having led the Niners to the Super Bowl with just nine regular season and postseason starts under his belt.
Among the more in-depth looks at the blog was a story diving into the transformation quarterback Joe Flacco has undergone working with Jim Caldwell, who took over as offensive coordinator in Week 15. Though the sample size is small and doesn't guarantee a Super Bowl victory, the bloggers predicted that the combination of Flacco and Caldwell will spell big things in seasons to come.
... Here are Joe's (and Jim's) passing numbers for those four games: 60% completion, 1162 yards, 10 TD's, 0 picks (as in zero, notta, zilch, zippy), 1 lost fumble for a QB rating of 115 and a ridiculous 9 Y/A. Extrapolate those numbers over a full season and you get: 60% (a little low, agreed), 4642 yards, 40 TD's (!) and 4 turnovers (!!!).