The Super Bowl XLVII matchup for a week from Sunday at New Orleans’ Super Dome is set as the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens will face off, and the NFC champs have opened as 4-point favorites with the total at 47.5 on Sportsbetonline.com (check current lines here). Of course the main storyline is that 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh will face off against his brother, Ravens coach John Harbaugh.
San Francisco, the NFC’s No. 2 seed, was a 4-point favorite in Sunday’s NFC title game at Atlanta. The 49ers fell behind 17-0 early in the second quarter. But Colin Kaepernick and Frank Gore led San Francisco to a record comeback to beat the Falcons 28-24 and send the 49ers to their first Super Bowl since 1995. Gore scored a pair of touchdowns, including the winner with 8:23 remaining for San Francisco’s first lead of the day, and the 49ers defense made it stand up. A fourth-down stop at the 10-yard line denied Atlanta another stirring comeback after blowing a big lead. It was the biggest comeback victory in the history of the NFC Championship Game. The NFL’s record is 18 points, which the Colts rallied from to beat the Patriots in 2007.
In the divisional playoffs, the Falcons blew a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter, the Seahawks scoring the go-ahead touchdown with 31 seconds remaining. But Matt Ryan completed two long passes, setting up Matt Bryant’s 49-yard field goal for 30-28 victory
Ryan set a Falcons single-game postseason record with his 396 passing yards Sunday against the 49ers. Atlanta has lost three of four postseason games in which it had a quarterback pass for at least 300 yards. The Falcons gained 477 yards but lost the NFC title game at home to the 49ers, setting an NFL postseason record for most yards gained by a team in a postseason loss at home (neutral-field Super Bowls are not included). The previous record was the total of 472 yards gained by the Dolphins in that classic overtime loss to the Chargers in the playoffs following the 1981 season.
The Ravens were 10-point dogs at New England on Sunday but outscored that Pats 21-0 in the second half for a 28-13 stunner. The Ravens reached their first Super Bowl in 12 years, thanks to three touchdown passes from Joe Flacco and a defense led by Ray Lewis that made Tom Brady look downright ordinary. Brady was 67-0 at home when leading at halftime, but this was no contest in the second half. It also was a first for the Patriots, who hadn’t lost an AFC championship at home.
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The Ravens loosened the reins on Flacco in this postseason and are in the Super Bowl because of it. The fifth-year quarterback hasn’t thrown an interception yet in these playoffs and is averaging 284.3 yards per game. He has eight TD passes.
The Harbaugh brothers faced off on Thanksgiving last season, with Baltimore winning 16-6 at home in which the teams barely combined for 450 yards of total offense. The Ravens will be the visiting team for the Super Bowl.