The San Francisco 49ers offense hasn't been held under 300 yards since a Week 3 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. And with Colin Kaepernick at the helm they've only improved, and are averaging 476 yards of offense in the postseason. Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees has the tough task of slowing down that potent offense, but isn't stressing too much about the big game.
"Well the good thing is that this is my third Super Bowl and I have a good idea of what everything will be like," Pees said at Media Day on Tuesday. "You just have to keep everything in perspective because you have a game to win on Sunday."
Pees, 63, made his first trip to the Super Bowl in 2005 as the linebackers coach for the New England Patriots. A year later he was promoted to defensive coordinator and had to draw up a gameplan to stop Eli Manning and the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.
For Sunday's Super Bowl XLVII, Pees has to stop a 49ers offense that ranked No. 11 in both scoring and total offense this season, but definitely relied on the running game to lead the way. The fourth-ranked rushing attack led by Frank Gore was the driving force for the offense as the passing game ranked No. 23 in the regular season.
49ers rushing attack
"It starts up front trying to stop the run and make sure you have all the aspects of the option of zone read down. So it starts up front," Pees said of stopping the 49ers.
However, the player that everyone's eyes will be on is 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, the bettors' favorite to win the Super Bowl MVP award. After taking over as starter in November, Kaepernick led the 49ers to a 5-2 finish in the regular season and had terrific games against each the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons to advance to the Super Bowl.
Colin Kaepernick postseason explosion
|Opponent||Cmp.||Att.||%||Yds.||TD||INT||Rate||Rush Att.||Rush Yds.||Rush TD|
|Green Bay Packers||17||31||54.8||263||2||1||91.2||16||181||2|
"Well, the key is always going to be the quarterback because he is making the read," Pees said. "The back is part of it, but it's really the quarterback because he is the guy who makes the decisions. It really starts with him, but along with that you have to stop the back first. You can't let them beat you with the ball."
The Ravens defense has been susceptible at times though, and finished the season No. 17 in total yardage allowed. It was a surprisingly low ranking for the vaunted Baltimore defense that had finished in the top-10 in nine-consecutive seasons entering the 2012 season.
However, Pees said on Tuesday that if the Ravens stick to basic,s they have the ability to stop the 49ers. "You have to be fundamentally sound," Pees said. "You have to know what your assignment is and be on the same page."
"When you got guys like that, when you got guys like Ed [Reed] and Ray [Lewis] it's like coaching coaches," Pees said. "They know so much about the defense already you don't have to explain a lot of things. Like you're not losing a good player, you're losing a good locker room guy and losing a big part of your whole program."
Lewis has previously announced that he will retire after the 2012 season, meaning that the Super Bowl will be his final game, barring a change of heart. Reed may also be playing his final game with the Ravens, as many expect him to reach free agency in March.
Sunday's Super Bowl is scheduled to kickoff at 6:30 p.m. ET and will be televised on CBS.