For one half of Super Bowl XLVII it appeared clear why one of my dream jobs - sports journalist - was never realized. Thankfully, the second half almost made me look like a genius, a 21st Century NostraSeanus, making the end result a not-so-horrible wrong call. So my confidence wasn't completely shot. Probably a bad thing. Regardless, I was wrong. Not about everything, but I was wrong. On the surface, because I predicted a 49ers win, but more specifically, because I stated the final score (29-23 SF 49ers) wouldn't represent the beating the 49ers put on the Ravens. That was only the second half. Here's a recap of my calls and how right/wrong I was:
- I said the key match ups were the 49ers rush defense against the Ravens rush offense, in which the 49ers D would dominate: I was right, they did. Ray Rice was held to under 60 yards rushing, and 3.0 YPC. I also said the game would hinge on Flacco's shoulders, which also ended up being true. Unfortunately I said this sarcastically as I did not expect Flacco to actually shine in that situation. (Note: MVP should have gone to Boldin)
- I said the young pistol offense led by Kaepernick would steamroll the Raven's old defense. Well that happened...several minutes into the second half. It basically took a 34-minute brown out and an approaching bedtime for Ray Lewis for the 49ers to get rolling, but by the end, the stats were padded (over 430 yards for the 49ers offense, most by a losing team in Super Bowl history...I think). And although the Ravens defense didn't get steamrolled, they certainly didn't look like the old Ravens, save perhaps the few vicious hits, cheap hits, and after-whistle brawls. And other than two non-calls for defensive off-sides by Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, I would have thought they joined Suggs in skipping the game. But they won, plain and simple.
- I said the Ravens Special Teams would shine, specifically Jacoby Jones. That happened.
- I said the Ravens coaching staff would out-coach the 49ers staff...that sort of happened. They did win, right? Going for a fake field goal at the 9ish yard line was dumb...but the hapless 1st half 49ers couldn't take advantage. So yeah, the Ravens won, so Johnny gets the nod.
- I said Colin Kaepernick would win the MVP. This actually would have happened had it not been for 1) a botched defensive off-sides call (Ed Reed) that cost the 49ers two points, which cost them the tie at the time, which forced them to go for a TD instead of a game-tying FG when the time came, or 2) Crabtree was given at least a chance to catch that ball in the end zone, i.e. an obvious defensive holding penalty was called, or at the very least 3) the 49ers got those precious 8 or so seconds back from that lame super slow motion safety. If any of those things went the 49ers way Colin Kaepernick would most likely have scored the game-winning TD (come on, the kid was on FIRE) and ended with way more than 300+ yards passing, 60+ yards rushing and 2 TDs, which were basically the same number Flacco ended up with, too.
I also said the score would be 29-23 49ers, when it was actually 34-31 Ravens. I was 11-2 points off, respectively, which means at the end of the day I pretty much nailed my 49er predictions and missed on many of my Ravens predictions, indicating a lack of respect for the Ravens. That's been my problem for the past 13 years.
Congrats to the Baltimore Ravens on a deity-inspired season. Of all the places this deity has to be, it chose to stick by you guys for the past five weeks. Believable story.
More predictions to come. I promise.