By Dr. J
(Preface: I am a devoted Niners fan. I am completely biased, I think our poo poo smells like Pledge and fried chicken. These are my thoughts, I sleep through the night.)
Nonetheless, it’s a good time to be a Niners fan. I know these parts are dominated by the resident Ravens fan, but today I thought I’d give you guys five reasons why the Niners are going to beat the Ravens.
Apparently, “They just are” isn’t an adequate response.
1. Alex Smith can’t screw it up. In the summer of 2005, I sat and waited what the 49ers would do with the first pick in the NFL Draft. I watched all the analysis that I could watch, I read every story that I could read, I knew that the Niners needed a QB, and they needed one bad. In a matter of a month what looked like a two man race for the first pick in the draft between Aaron Rodgers and Alex Smith, turned into an anointing session for a QB who couldn’t complete a 35 yard pass in the air at the combine. The Niners selected Alex and that guy, who may or may not have been given a fair shake, basically put the Niners into mediocrity for six years. In his defense, Alex did a good job being the starter last year and for the time he was in the position this year, but we always knew that our biggest liability was our QB. He was simply a game manager. Sadly enough, game managers rarely win Super Bowls. Simply managing the game by throwing the ball away and taking the sack over a turnover is not the way championships are won. Therefore, good riddance, Alex Smith, we have our man now, you can play first-string clipboard.
2. The 49ers are undefeated in the Super Bowl, all-time. This is an important fact. The only reason why it’s so important to note is because there are only five teams who possess that distinction and only one has done it FIVE times. I don’t know about you, but when you go to five Super Bowls and come home with five Lombardi trophies, you get some respect in my book. Nobody turns it up like the Niners in the Super Bowl. A great fan base, always excellent preparation, and always a great performance. This will be no different.
3. This isn’t the same 49ers offense from a year ago. That’s definitely not the same Ravens defense. It’s not the Pistol offense, it’s the most prolific offense in the NFL right now! I told someone to explain to me how the Ravens could beat the 49ers in a few sentences… 25 minutes later he was still talking. The Niners have won their last SEVEN games with a different offensive strategy in each game. They’re running, they’re passing, it’s Colin, it’s Frank, it’s Vernon, it’s Crabtree – listen, you just can’t call it.
Now about this Ravens defense… they used to be the most dominant force in the NFL, now they’re struggling to stay in the middle of the pack. This defense has faced two mobile QBs all season; they lost both games. Ray Lewis is a Hall-of-Fame LB, but if you’ve ever watched him and his defense play, you know that they are a blitz-heavy defense. And we all know… the read option against a blitz-heavy defense is like kryptonite to Superman.
4. Sooner or later, Flacco will return to being Flacco. Joey has played amazing in these playoffs, but we’ve seen him do this before and we know that sooner or later, he comes back to Earth and starts acting like the player he really is. It’s not to say that Flacco is not a good, above average QB, but we know that he’s had his fair share of bad games that remind us that he’s fallible. We know that the Ravens will try and get a heavy dose of Ray Rice early on to open up opportunities in the passing game. The Niners will not allow Ray to run over them – that just never happens. That means that Flacco will have to pass, and he’s been passing on average about 35 times a game. If anyone is dumb enough to think that Flacco is going to throw the ball against that defense 35 times and not throw a pick or two, they should be taken out back and shot.
5. San Franciscan Exceptionalism. Let’s be honest, from a city to city standpoint, Baltimore freaking stinks. (It actually does stink.) People who grow up there, leave there and rarely ever come back. There is nothing great about the city of Baltimore except they have the greatest baseball venue in the game right now. San Francisco is a special place, and when it’s time to perform, San Francisco has always stepped up and performed. There is no city more kick-ass than a city that boasts the largest gay population, converts Jews to Atheists, Asians to Caucasians, and minorities to Oakland. No city is more kick-ass. It is only right that the superior city and team win. In fact, it was once said of San Francisco:
The position of the San Franciscans is therefore quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no other people will ever be placed in a similar one. Their passions, their wants, their education, and everything about them seem to unite in drawing the native of the United States earthward; their religion alone bids them turn, from time to time, a transient and distracted glance to heaven. Let us cease, then, to view all other states under the example of the San Franciscan people.
Niners, 35-13. Book it.
Dr. J, a native of Washington DC, writes for Single Black Male, among other blogs. In the irony of ironies, his favorite baseball team is the Baltimore Orioles, who play across the street from M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Ravens