I picked Baltimore-San Francisco to meet in the Super Bowl into the season and am sticking with it. The Ravens winning at New England obviously will be a daunting task, but I am not intimidated by the prospect of selecting the huge 'dog to win.
The Ravens know how to beat the New England Patriots and did so earlier this year. They can rush without blitzing, and they can take CAPTAIN COOL off his spot as well as anybody ever has. Blitz Brady and you are in trouble. Make him move around while rushing three or four and you are in business.
JOE FLACCO has become a terrific postseason QB after starting his playoff career with like one TD and six picks. Versus NE in the playoffs he has nine TD's and four picks and 18 completions of 20 yards or more. He stretches the field for big plays quite well as it is but versus NE in the playoffs he zaps them for about four a game and a long TD a game on average.
CB AQIB TALIB now balls with the Pats, and he'll be a handful with which to deal. Very fast, physical player. But this stage of the equation is all new to him, and Flacco is very adept at looking off DB's. He knows how to beat BELICHICK, which is huge into games because the Red, White and Blue of Immortality aura sometimes beats teams before games start.
Baltimore did very well versus PEYTON MANNING and kind of dominated patches of that game. RAY RICE will keep NE honest short, TE DENNIS PITTA will clear the middle with ANQUAN BOLDIN and TORREY SMITH will be on the double moves deep. You can move the ball on NE if you stay patient and don't freak out.
New England's offense is the best left in the game, and VEREEN running explosively has foiled teams. Baltimore will be better against the run than Houston because their run-stopping schemes are better. 'Cool will try to put AARON HERNANDEZ on a big game, and that could be problematic for Baltimore, but if the Ravens can bang around 'Cool early they will win this game.