Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Moose's Weekly Pick

Time for Moose's last pick of the year.  It was a great season; we learned a little bit, laughed a lot, and made some great friends along the way.  Now it has come down to Super Bowl 47 in the Big Easy.  For the first time in a long time, there was no easy side for me to root for in this Super Bowl.  Both the Ravens and the 49ers were about the last playoff teams I wanted to get this far.  Each team has just about an equal cast of characters that are worthy of the hatred of an average fan.  After some deliberation though, I have decided to support the 49ers.  Let's take a moment to break down what makes these teams so awful.

BALTIMORE RAVENS: If you are looking for a reason to hate the Ravens, look no further than their team leader Ray Lewis.  I can live with the fact that he was cleared of a double murder.  I can live with the fact that he is a scumbag with so many kids out of wedlock.  I can even live with the fact that he allegedly use deer antler spray to recover from his triceps tear this year.  What I can't live with is the fact that he is revered as such a great leader of men, yet whenever he opens his mouth he talks about himself.  After the AFC Championship, I am pretty sure he compared himself to God and only talked about how great his comeback was this year.  He is an example of how insane sports stars really are, and nothing would make me happier than to have his forced storybook ending be ruined. 

As for other dirtbags on the Ravens, you've got Terrell Suggs (who also came back mysteriously fast from a torn ACL) and Bernard "Bone Crusher" Pollard.  Suggs has no class or teeth, and Pollard is one of those guys who you hate unless he is on your team.  As for guys on the Ravens that you would want to root for, I guess John Harbaugh, Ray Rice and Matt Birk would fit that mold.  Maybe.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS: Ray Lewis' equal (though not even close) on the other side of the field would be Jim Harbaugh.  Having him win the Super Bowl in such a short coaching career could unleash a monster.  He throws a tantrum after every missed call, and likes to show up other coaches after the game.  He is a real squid.  Also scoring high on the unlikeable due to career brevity scale is Colin Kaepernick.  I think he is the epitome of a young punk, talks out of his ass in interviews, is overly confident, and looks like the kid in high school that everyone hated.  Believe me, I want these two guys to lose just as much as I want Ray Lewis to lose. 
The thing that throws my support to San Francisco is that they do have some genuinely good guys on their team.  You gotta feel for Alex Smith, and hope that somehow he can get in the game and win it for the 49ers.  Patrick Willis and Vernon Davis are also extremely hard working and talented guys.  They also both survived the Mike Singletary mooning days.  Then there is David Akers, who has been around forever and deserves a Super Bowl ring after enduring death threats this season (I thought only Philly fans were the bad ones?).  Finally, like him or not, I would love to see Randy Moss win a Super Bowl ring.  Though I don't agree that he is the best receiver ever, I think he has matured a lot over time and deserves a ring for his body of work in his career.

GAME BREAKDOWN: These teams are very similar in makeup; strong defenses, power running game and reliable receivers.

On offense, I think that the Ravens have a bit of an edge with Joe Flacco at QB, Boldin and Torrey Smith at wide receiver, and Ray Rice at running back.  The 49ers definitely have a better offensive line and tight ends though.  Overall, the edge goes to the Ravens.

On defense, the Ravens have been hampered by injuries all year but are finally healthy.  The 49ers have been a strong unit all season.  In this game, the 49ers have the edge in pass rush with Aldon and Justin Smith, and in run defense with Patrick Willis tackling everything he sees.  The Ravens have veteran experience with Ed Reed and Bone Crusher Pollard in the secondary, and have been able to control a lot offenses with their team speed in the past.  The thing the nudges me towards giving the 49ers the edge in this matchup though, is that they have been able to adapt to other offenses this season, just as they did with Atlanta two weeks ago.  Sometimes the Ravens just get caught up in a shootout, and therefore my defensive edge goes to the 49ers.

Special teams is a wash in my opinion.  The 49ers have the old shaky kicker in David Akers, but the Ravens have the hotshot rookie who's never been on this level before.  Both teams have great punters, but Andy Lee will punt for heaven's football team when he dies.  On return, both Ted Ginn and Jacoby Jones can take it all the way.  It's a tie.

THE FINAL CALL:  After the breakdown, you can see how close these two teams really are in skill.  I am going to take the 49ers (-3.5) in the game though.  The Ravens may have Super Bowl championship experience, but that was 12 freaking years ago.  The game has changed quite a bit since then.  The 49ers will adapt better during the game, Kaepernick will probably make at least one big play with his feet, and I don't know about you but I can see Flacco choking big time.  The 49ers take Super Bowl 47 by a score of 30-24.  There you have it, the last pick of the year.  Let's hope its a good one.

LAST WEEK: 1-0-1
PLAYOFFS: 6-3-1
NO DOUBTER: 1-1-1
REGULAR SEASON: 112-119-7
RS NO DOUBTERS: 7-8-1

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