Since taking over as the starting quarterback, San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick has been a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses. Baltimore will be tasked with slowing Kaepernick and the 49ers down and despite not playing at the level it has before, the Raven defense could pose some challenging matchups for San Francisco.
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49er pass offense vs. Raven pass defense
Kaepernick has garnered a lot of attention for making big plays with his legs, but he's also had success throwing the ball this season. After averaging 8.3 yards per attempt during the regular season, Kaepernick has been even better in the postseason, averaging 9.5 yards per attempt.
While the Ravens passing defense struggled some during the regular season -- allowing 7.0 yards per attempt -- Baltimore has defended the pass extremely well in the postseason. Despite facing three of the most prolific passing offenses in the NFL in Denver, New England and Indianapolis, Baltimore is allowing just 5.9 yards per attempt.
San Francisco hasn't thrown the ball a lot during the postseason, but have been at their best when needed the most. On second down with six or more yards to go, San Francisco is averaging 12.4 yards per pass attempt. In a similar situation on third down, the average increases to 12.9 yards per attempt. The Ravens, however, have also been excellent in passing situations. In third down situations with between six and 15 yards to go, Baltimore is allowing just 4.2 yards per pass attempt.
49er rush offense vs. Raven rush defense
With Kaepernick and Frank Gore both running well, the 49ers have been nearly unstoppable running the football during the postseason. San Francisco is averaging 236.0 rushing yards per game, an increase of over 80 yards per game from their regular season average.
San Francisco has had success running inbetween the tackles, but has been even more effective running on the outside. On runs off the ends, San Francisco is averaging 9.5 yards per attempt. A big part of that is Kaepernick, who is averaging 11.2 yards per attempt in the playoffs and has already broken three runs of 20 or more yards.
When it comes to stopping outside runs, Baltimore has been a mix of bad and good in the postseason. The Ravens are allowing just 3.3 yards per attempt to runs of the left end, but that number jumps to 11.3 yards per attempt to runs off the right end. Both numbers, however, are based on a very small sample. During the regular season, the Ravens allowed 4.4 yards per attempt to runs to the outside.
49er third down offense vs Raven third down defense
San Francisco has had plenty of success on third down during their first two playoff games, but the sledding may be tougher in the Super Bowl. The 49ers have run 19 plays on third down in the postseason and are averaging 11.1 yards per play. They have converted 53 percent of their third downs this postseason, the second best mark of any playoff team.
While the Ravens have allowed teams to convert 45 percent of third downs, they have done well to limit the yardage. San Francisco is averaging 12.6 yards per rush on third down, but Baltimore has held opponents to just 1.8 yards per rush on third down. The Ravens aren't allowing much more through the air, giving up 5.0 yards per third down pass.
The 49ers have converted 55.6 percent of third down situations between six and 10 yards but if they are going to continue to have success on third down, they may need to be better on the first two downs. Baltimore has allowed just 35.3 percent of attempts between six and 10 yards to be converted.