NFL Picks: Riding the RavensPublished 11:25am Thursday, January 31, 2013
Last week I went against my gut and picked both winners wrong in the Conference Championship games.
So when it comes to the Super Bowl, I should change my tune.
Logic tells me the 49ers should win this game pretty easy. Baltimore thrives on a running game that features Ray Rice to set up their deep passing attack. But it hasn’t been easy to run on San Francisco all season.
The 49er offense has been on a tear in these playoffs and Collin Kaepernick appears to be the second coming of Tom Brady – a backup who earned his spot in midseason and led his team to the big game.
The Ravens just have never seemed that good to me. Even when they nearly won the AFC title game last season, I thought it was a fluke.
Then Ray Lewis was accused of using PEDs on media day, the same day that Randy Moss boasted that he was the best receiver of all time.
Both of these things are huge plusses for the Ravens. Their defense will use Moss’s quote as motivation and make sure he doesn’t get loose for any big scores.
But the biggest motivator is Lewis, a man who claims that God has controlled his team’s entire playoff fate. While most people probably don’t believe Lewis, the important thing is that he does.
The Ravens revolve around Lewis like the Earth revolves around sun. He is the clear cut, flat out leader of the entire locker room. His belief in having help from above with the combination of the national media trying to bring Lewis down before his final game will have this team at an intensity level we have yet to see.
The old cliché’ is these players shouldn’t need extra motivation because it’s the Super Bowl.
But the more I watch sports, the more I realize statements like that are false. These are human beings with real lives playing these games. They are not robots automatically programmed to have a higher energy level when a bigger game pops up on the schedule.
In a sport like football, where violence is constant and fatigue is draining, player’s need all the motivation they can get.
In Lewis, the Ravens have everything they could ask for.
So I’m going with my gut.
RAVENS 27, 49ERS 24
Playoffs: 4-6; overall: 151-103