Super Bowl XLVII: Baltimore Ravens on offense
It is Super Bowl week! After some close playoff games, the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers are going to play in Super Bowl XLVII. The big game is Sunday, February 3rd in New Orleans at Mercedes Benz Superdome. John Harbaugh is the head coach for the Ravens and his younger brother Jim Harbaugh has that position with the San Francisco 49ers. With two brothers at the helm of the teams, I do not think that there has been a championship game that will be as emotional as this. Will big brother show his younger brother how to win a championship or will little brother defeat his older brother? It is sibling rivalry on the largest sports stage!
The teams are in the “Big Easy” making their final preparations for the battle for the Lombardi Trophy. With six days left to go, let’s start our annual Super Bowl review with the Ravens offense.
John Harbaugh made a significant change to the offense at the end of the season. He fired his offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron, just three weeks before the regular season ended. Quarterback coach Jim Caldwell was promoted to do the job. (Caldwell coached under former NFL coach Tony Dungy and was the head coach for the Indianapolis Colts from 2009 – 2011.) The offense went through another major adjustment after the regular season when the players on the offensive line were reconfigured putting three players in new positions. To win, the Ravens will need their quarterback Joe Flacco to be consistent against a very talented defense. The offensive line must help by protecting Flacco.
Here are the potential starters and key players on the Ravens’ offense.
Joe Flacco (#5) – Ravens’ all-time leading passer in yards (13,816), TD passes (80), completions (1,190) and attempts (1,958) and is second in completion percentage (60.8). Critics note lack of consistency over five years in the NFL keep him out of conversation about the league’s top quarterbacks.
Matt Birk (#77) – Six-time Pro Bowl performer (2000-01, 2003-04 and 2006-07)
Guards and Tackles – Need to block and give Flacco time to pass against the 49ers, the NFL’s 3rd ranked defense.
Bryant McKinnie (#78, Left Tackle) – Veteran, came off of the bench to replace Michael Oher.
Kelechi Osemele (#72, Left Guard) – Rookie, switched from right tackle to this position.
Marshal Yanda (#73, Right Guard) – Pro Bowl lineman.
Michael Oher (#74, Right Tackle) – The book and movie, “The Blind Side,” was based on him. He moved from left tackle to right tackle for the playoffs.
Dennis Pitta (#88) – His third season has been a charm. He passed his draft classmate Ed Dickson who was selected before him in the 2010 NFL draft. He is known to run routes just as well as receivers. His size (6 feet 4 inches and 245 pounds) makes it tough for defenders to bring him down after a catch.
Anquan Boldin (#81) – Flacco’s number 1 target. He had 16 catches for 276 yards and three touchdowns in the playoffs. He is the current Ravens’ Walter Payton Man of the Year.
Torrey Smith (#82) – Most impressive game was against AFC rival New England Patriots during the regular season. It was a day after he learned about his brother’s death. He caught six passes for 127 yards and two touchdowns in the Ravens’ 31-30 victory.
Vonta Leach (#44, Full) – Strong, veteran blocker and capable of catching.
Ray Rice (#27) – Ranks second in Ravens’ franchise history with 3,013 rushing yards.
Tomorrow we will look at the 49ers defense. Can they rattle Joe Flacco and put a halt to the strong performances he has had during the playoffs?
Get in the game!