When it comes to making a 2013 Super Bowl prediction I have vacillated for the past two weeks. Well, the AFC champion Baltimore Ravens and NFC champion San Francisco 49ers meet Sunday night in Super Bowl XLVII, so I really can't mess around any longer. Ready or not, I have to make a prediction.
I am going with the Baltimore Ravens, despite my disdain for the Ray Lewis Retirement Show that has gone on much too long, and become a giant circus.
Why am I choosing the Ravens today? It's really simple -- they remind me of the 2008 and 2012 New York Giants.
The Ravens didn't exactly enter the playoffs on fire. They lost four of their last five, with their only victory being a 33-14 shellacking of the Giants in Week 16.
They needed a miracle play in the closing seconds to force overtime in their divisional round game against the Denver Broncos, a game they would go on to win in two overtimes. Giants' fans know all about miracle plays.
They went into Foxboro and defeated the New England Patriots -- something few thought they could do. The Giants know, better than anyone, what it is like to slay the mighty Patriots when no one gives you a chance.
The Ravens have a quarterback in Joe Flacco trying to prove he belongs in the conversation when it comes the best quarterbacks in the game. That, of course, is much like the story of the Giants Eli Manning.
The Ravens are not a flashy team. They don't run the new-fangled read-option or rely on trickery. They play traditional, hard-noses, smash-mouth football. They look for the big play, rely on hard-nosed running back Ray Rice and play tough, opportunistic defense. Again, Giants' fans are familiar with that style.
San Francisco remains a 4-point favorite to win Sunday night. When all is said and done, however, I believe it will be Baltimore hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.
Pick: Ravens 27, 49ers 24