San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick has finally come out of Alex Smith’s shadow after a concussion in week 10 sidelined Smith. After going through the proper concussion procedures, Smith came back to find out that the starting job as quarterback wasn’t his anymore. Head Coach Jim Harbaugh had turned his attention to backup quarterback Kaepernick. This season, Kaepernick has played in thirteen games, starting just nine of them. He has a passer rating of 105.9 this season including the playoffs, just behind Ravens quarterback, Joe Flacco. Kaepernick’s 181 rushing yards against Green Bay in the divisional playoffs set a record for an NFL quarterback in any game. Yet, the Super Bowl will only be his 10th start ever. Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis will play his 21st playoff game and his 249th overall game.
Lewis will go down in history as one of the best defensive performers of all time. With 31 career interceptions and 43.5 career sacks, Lewis has penciled his name into the Hall of Fame. The retirement announcement he made right before the playoffs began has proved to be the driving force that these Ravens needed to win the games they have won. With their backs against the wall in Denver, miracles did happen, and the secondary did fail as the Ravens pulled off the upset in overtime after Flacco tossed a prayer at the foot of their own endzone to tie the game up in the fourth quarter. They then embarrassed the Patriots in Foxboro and have punched their ticket with authority to the Superdome in New Orleans.
What’s most intriguing about this matchup is that both Kaepernick and Lewis will always be on the field at the same time. When the San Francisco offense is on the field, Lewis and the Baltimore defense will try to breathe down Kaepernick’s neck, and make his Super Bowl debut an unpleasant one.
For those who know me, I take a lot of pride in my picks when it comes to big championship games. Against one of my best buddies, Paul, I am five for five in both BCS and Super Bowl picks in the past three years. I had the New England Patriots going all the way and defeating the 49ers in the Superdome this year, but with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick sitting at home on Feb. 3, I have to pick either Baltimore or San Francisco to hoist the trophy over their heads. Living in a San-Francisco-fan-heavy Utah County, I still expect Lewis to do his signature dance in the middle of the field after the Ravens defeat the 49ers 34-31 in overtime, Kaepernick and all.
Alex Rivera is the Sports Editor for the UVU Review. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his Twitter account @HashtagginAlex