January 31, 2013
Baltimore Ravens have captured lightning in a bottle
By RANDALL THE HANDLE, Special to QMI Agency

Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith warms up during practice in advance of Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013. (Sean Gardner/Reuters)

The 49ers deserve to be here. They were a couple of gaffes away from making this trip last year and, despite an agonizing loss to the eventual champion New York Giants, they got right back on their horse and maintained a high level of play throughout the 2012 season. San Francisco is one of the most balanced teams in the league.

Offensively, they have a strong runner in Frank Gore, an explosive tight end in Vernon Davis and a dangerous receiver in Michael Crabtree. The Niners’ defence features one of the strongest linebacking corps in the NFL as Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman all were voted to this year’s Pro Bowl. While each brings a different skill set, Smith is a pass-rushing maniac with 33.5 sacks in two years, the most by any NFL player in his first two seasons.



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