2013 Super Bowl Predictions: Ravens or 49ers?

The time for talking is over. Almost.

Super Bowl XLVII pits the Ravens against the 49ers and, as you might have heard, it also pits John Harbaugh vs. Jim Harbaugh.

CBSSports.com's NFL analysts have had several days to evaluate the matchup, review game film, conduct interviews and flip-flop as desired. Here are their final predictions for the big game.

And, if you can't join us in the Big Easy, please check out CBSSports.com during the Super Bowl for a second-screen viewing experience like you've never seen before.


2013 Super Bowl final predictions: Ravens at 49ers
Writer Prediction Comment
Senior NFL Columnist
Ravens 27, 49ers 24 I still have problems seeing a running quarterback winning a Super Bowl. Yes, Colin Kaepernick has been great in the playoffs, but he has just nine total starts. That concerns me. Joe Flacco is playing at an elite level, even if he's not considered elite. The 49ers are vulnerable to the pass when they get spread out, which I think the Ravens will do. The physical defenses all had good games against the 49ers' offense. One more thing: I will take a pocket passer all day long over a running quarterback. Read option? Not for my Super pick.
Senior NFL Columnist
Ravens 24, 49ers 20 Running back Ray Rice calls the Ravens "a team of destiny," and I believe. I believe in fourth-and-29. I believe in Rahim Moore. And I believe in a Super Bowl upset. I don't know what's driving this team -- if it's Ray Lewis, the memory of Art Modell or the play of Joe Flacco -- but what I know is I believe in teams with momentum. And the Ravens have it.
CBSSports.com NFL Insider
Ravens 22, 49ers 17 You might be tired of Ray Lewis. You might not like Ray Lewis. You might never want to hear about deer antler spray ever again. But the Ravens will use the Lewis controversy as motivation and fuel because, well, this is what the Ravens do. Us versus the Planet Earth gets them the win.
CBS Sports NFL Insider
Ravens 27, 49ers 24 Too much Joe Flacco, not enough San Francisco pass rush, and Baltimore has a big edge in the kicking game. I'm buying the team of destiny thing with them.
NFL Insider
49ers 27, Ravens 24 The Kaepernick factor was the tiebreaker for me. The postseason game vs. the Packers and his 181 yards of rushing followed by a solid passing game in the win over the Falcons makes it tough to defend everything. I would like to see the Ravens win, but too much speed in the linebacker group.
Senior NFL Blogger
Ravens 28, 49ers 21 The 49ers are the more dynamic team, and there's a good reason why they're the favorites. But the Ravens are peaking at the right time and have the offense and defense clicking under Jim Caldwell and Dean Peas, respectively. Justin Smith's triceps injury means the Baltimore offensive line should hold up. That means Torrey Smith should get open deep, and that means Joe Flacco gets to spin his $20 million deep ball a few times.
NFL Blogger
Ravens 20, 49ers 14 Colin Kaepernick is going to make life difficult for the Ravens, but Baltimore -- which, much like last year's Giants squad, simply wasn't a great regular-season team -- has gotten hot at just the right time. Joe Flacco and Torrey Smith will move the offense, and Baltimore's defense will do just enough to slow down Kaepernick and Frank Gore to score the title.
NFL Blogger
Ravens 21, 49ers 17 Joe Flacco finally looks like a legit franchise quarterback, the defense is as healthy as it's been all season (and the run defense is no longer a liability), and this team is playing for middle linebacker and inspirational leader Ray Lewis, whom you might have heard will retire after the season. And I can't give enough credit to offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, who has this offense humming along after Cam Cameron never could strike the right balance during his four-plus years on the job.
CBSSports.com National Columnist
Ravens 24, 49ers 21 This game has to be close. It just has to. The teams are evenly matched, the defenses ferocious, the coaches unflinching. The mistakes should be at a minimum, and it's going to be close -- so close, it will come down to a final kick. Know which team has the better kicker? The Ravens. So the pick here is Baltimore 24, San Francisco 21.


CBS Sports Staff

Denny Burkholder has been a writer, editor and producer for CBS Sports dating back to 1999. He has covered everything from the NFL to the UFC during his tenure, with a specialty in all things WWE and pro... Full Bio

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