As Bengal Fans, a lot of us are, once again, attempting to find a reason to get excited about the biggest game of the season long after our team has started looking months ahead to opening day. While playing for championships remains in our future, we’re spared the possibility that our team might fold up at “The Big Dance.” Still, we need to find a reason to cheer for one team or the other. As this week of non-stop hoopla approaches, let’s take a moment to make sure we know enough about the matchup to offer our own meaningful contributions to the noise.
Elliot Harrison of NFL.Com likes the 49ers. He gives them the advantage in Coaching, OLine, Linebackers and Secondary. His story at NFL.com hints at one other meaningless bit of Superbowl trivia, the 49ers are undefeated in five previous Superbowl appearances including the two over the Bengals in ’82 and ’89 and one each over the Dolfins in ’85, the Broncos in ’90 and their last over the Chargers in ’95.
At SBNation.com, they report more early support for the Ravens and attribute much of that outlook to Ray Lewis. Included in their report, they cite Pat Kirwan of CBSports.com who gives Lewis and his Ravens an emotional edge. In his own column, he notes the adjustments that both teams made at halftime in their respective championship games where the 49ers overcame a 17 point first half deficit while the Ravens were able to shut out the AFC’s top rated offense. Perhaps Kirwan’s most relevant point is the Raven’s receivers, Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith, and their matchup against the 49er defensive backs who “struggled against the Atlanta’s wide receivers.”