01/27 7:00 PM
495 AFC 81 *
496 NFC -3 OVER
AFC has a large contingent of HOU and DEN players, think more unity, we're on the same page, great for O and D. There were also many NE players, but about half will sit out due to injuries.
NFC w/o GB QB Rodgers, ATL QB Ryan
02/03 6:30 PM
101 BAL 48 OVER
102 SF -4 *
If this was a normal game it would be a defensive battle in 1st half and higher scoring in Q2 and Q4, but the SuperBowl is known for the ads and TV timeouts which really interrupt the flow of the game. This IMO helps the offense, thus the OVER pick.
BAL QB Flacco has been hot the past 3 weeks, with QBR rating of 125.6 116.2 106.2
BAL D QBR ratings of 59.8 88.3 62.3 vs Luck, Manning, Brady
SF QB Kaepernick has QBRs of 91.2 127.7
SF D QBR ratings of 91.5 114.8 vs Rodgers, Ryan
The emo edge may belong w/BAL MLB Lewis and his pending retirement.
SF holds an edge for overall team age as they are the senior team in total yrs, games played last year, game starts last year and career games.
BAL holds an edge for career starts by 416 games.
SF has 0 new vets and rookies in their starting line up, while BAL has 3 new veterans and 3 new starters
(11 O, 11 D and either 3 or 4 ST players [ depends if punt returner starts elsewhere])
What's apparent to me is that you can score on SF D, their CBs are very good, but seemed a step slow for Q1-Q2 @ATL. SF O also seemed to be highly predictable when SF QB Kaepernick used diamond motion with arms. If BAL O comes out throwing rather than running on first downs, BAL may well win the game.
What may be limiting for BAL D is that during regular season, they have limited experience vs a team that runs 'read/option' O (a wk14 road loss to WAS 28-31). This should be a challenge for BAL D and if they don't solve it quickly enough, this really will be a high scoring game.
BAL O seems to thrive on the deep pass, if I was SF secondary, I'd play more zone, force BAL to march down the field rather than allow deep passes. SF D adjusted to ATL deep passes, but ATL got a quick 17-0 lead and added a TD before the half. SF will need to adjust quicker or game plan better to snuff out BAL deep passes, especially to right side of field for BAL O
One big notable difference is the way BAL QB Flacco throws the ball with more arc, than zip on his deep passes and even mid range passes, this does allow his receiving options to get under the ball or even high point the ball. This may be a detriment if SF D can stick w/BAL WRs which I expect they will be able to do. There is one notable exception w/WR Torrey Smith who can just fly.
SF TE's Davis and Walker should be able to get open vs BAL LBs and safeties. They'll need to hold onto the ball as BAL SS Pollard is a TO machine creating fumbles.
Let's take a closer look at BAL @WAS wk14 road loss of 28-31 from personnel view.
Out or limited play:
Offense TE Dickson, limited play LT mcKinnie
Defense Rush Suggs, ILB/ST Ellerbe, MLB Lewis, CB Smith, limited play NT Kemoeatu
Played wk14 game @WAS, but out for SB:
LG Reid, WLB McClain, WR/ST Williams
So it appears BAL will be on the upswing as far as personnel goes, the only notable losses being LG Reid and WLB McClain.
Another way to look at the edge that BAL D seems to have is that they beat QB Brady and QB Manning in back to back games, I'm unsure if any other team has accomplished this feat and this impresses Dungy as well (interview via Dan Patrick show)
While SF D has beaten QB Ryan and QB Rodgers, which though formidable, just not quite that sparkling as beating Brady and Manning
Justin Smith said. ''It's the team that works the hardest, prepares the hardest and has the best players and coaching staff. You pour all that in together and it comes out pretty good at the end.''