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    09/07/2011 10:47 PM
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2013 Super Bowl: Baltimore Ravens Keys To Victory

The San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens have two whole weeks to get ready for one another. Two whole weeks. That is plenty of time for these coaches to come up with their keys to victoryThe problem with having two weeks, however, is some coaches can over think the game itself. While the media stays wrapped up in the narratives, the staffs on each of these teams are continuing to break down tape to find an edge. Below we will look at the Raven's keys to victory for Super Bowl 47.

1. Joe Flacco must extend the field.

With Flacco taking so many shots deep downfield, the Ravens can win many games whether he connects or not. Just the pressure of pushing the defense vertically creates running lanes for Ray Rice and other opportunities in the passing attack. Joe does have one of the best deep balls in the game. Without at least one long touchdown, there isn't much hope against a staunch 49ers defense that was top five against both the run and the pass this season. An overthrow here, a dropped pass there, and all of a sudden, the Ravens will find themselves behind the eight ball.

2. Establish the run with Ray Rice

Tthe Ravens will undoubtedly need to establish the run. Ray Rice won’t have to run wild against a tough SF front seven, but he will have to make that front respect Baltimore’s ability to move the chains on the ground. If the Ravens can find even a little success running the football, they’ll be able to do what they seem to love; throw the ball deep and put points on the board. The run will effectively set up play-action and enable Joe Flacco to find one-on-one matchups, which will allow him to hit some of his favorite targets. So far this postseason, the Ravens have done a fantastic job opening up holes despite being run-blitzed and should be able to allow Rice to find creases. I don’t expect Rice to have a huge game, but if he can chalk up 3-4 yards per carry, that will open up the rest of Baltimore’s game and give the Ravens a good chance to win.

3. Contain Kaepernick

With mobile quarterbacks like Kaepernick, it is more often about execution rather than planning. You know the overarching battle plan, but you have to deal with new wrinkles as they come. Seattle showednear the end of the regular season, that the Kaepernick can be tamed in their blowiout win. Kaepernick is the type of player who will get his yards, but the key word here is contain. If the Ravens can simply negate the big plays and keep him in check, then they’ve got a great chance at winning and with the talent they have on the defensive side of the ball and with Ray Lewis playing inspired in his last NFL game, you better believe the Ravens will bring it on Sunday. Eventually, it all boils down to the defensive line winning battles at the line of scrimmage and the linebackers flowing from sideline to sideline, shutting down the quarterback runs. A bi key for them is CONTAINING Kaepernick.

4. John must out-coach little brother Jim

In a game where both teams have so long to prepare and think about, coaching will be paramount and of course, for John Harbaugh, you don’t want to lose to your little brother on sports’ biggest stage. The two brothers know each other better than anyone and their relationship should create one of the most interesting match-ups on the entire field. John will have to be mistake-free in his decision making and not let emotions get in the way of what needs to be done. Both coaches are fiery and have plenty of will, but John needs to be smarter and more disciplined than Jim to win the day.

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