Stripe Hype Staff Picks: Super Bowl XLVII Predictions

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November 24, 2011; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) is gang tackled in the first quarter by the San Francisco 49ers defense on Thanksgiving at M

The Super Bowl is finally upon us. Everything we’ve witnessed during the 2012 NFL season will culminate with the San Francisco 49ers battling the Baltimore Ravens for right to hold the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Here are our staff predictions:

Shawn Maher

It is difficult to remember two so evenly matched teams in the Super Bowl. Both are perceived to have arrived by dint of their defense, but it is actually the offense that has carried both clubs. Even though the Ravens’ formula of running to set up the bomb could be especially effective against the 49ers suddenly porous run defense and anemic pass rush, the focus, like it has been all week, is on Ray Lewis.

But not in a good way. Lewis’ athletic deficiencies have been covered up nicely by efforts by the Ravens to keep offensive linemen off the second level, but instead of a zone blocking team, the 49ers power-running game of Power Os, Whams and Traps are all designed to nullify that advantage. Throw in the fact that the Ravens were shredded the only time they faced a zone-option team, the zone-blocking Redskins, and that spells disaster. So long, Ray, and thanks for all the memories.

San Francisco 35, Baltimore 28