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Five Reasons Why the Baltimore Ravens Will Win Harbaugh Bowl

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Why the Baltimore Ravens will win Super Bowl XLVII

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After six months of NFL action, the 2012-13 season has finally boiled down to one final game to determine who will walk away as the league’s top team. In what is sure to be an exhilarating matchup, the Baltimore Ravens will take on the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Feb. 3, for the right to call themselves champions of Super Bowl XLVII.

Although the Ravens go into the game as four-point underdogs, it will to be tough for the 49ers to take down a team that has overcome the odds time and time again. Baltimore finished the regular season at 10-6, but upset three higher-seeded teams during their postseason run to the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, the 49ers, who managed an impressive 11-4-1 regular season record, have cruised through the playoffs and are unprepared for an all-out war with the Ravens.

The talk surrounding Super Bowl XLVII has been about the two head coaches, Jim and John Harbaugh, will put their brotherhood aside for one day and become mortal enemies on Feb. 3. This will be the first time that brother head coaches have ever matched up in the Super Bowl, and it’s sure to be an exciting sibling fued.

In the end, though, the Harbaugh battle is only a backstory. When all is said and done, who performs better on the field will determine the ultimate outcome.

Here’s a look at five reasons why the Ravens will win Super Bowl XLVII and finish the 2012-13 NFL season at the top of the pile.

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John can’t let Jim beat his older brother

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The older and more mellow of the two Harbaugh brothers, John can’t let his little brother Jim topple him on the NFL’s biggest stage. Having just over a year on his sibling, John has proven that his quiet leadership results in victories while Jim has relied on abrasive, in-your-face coaching to get the job done since entering the league as a head coach last season. It’s not very often that little brothers win in sibling struggles, and I don’t expect that to be the case this time around either. Plus, the Ravens came away victorious in the only meeting between the two since Jim joined the 49ers in 2011.

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The Ravens have the reliable kicker

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Throughout the 2012 season, 49ers kicker David Akers has been the epitome of inconsistency. He started off the year by nailing a record-tying 63-yard field goal only to finish the year with the lowest success rate in the league. Meanwhile, the Ravens have one of the most promising young kickers in the league in Justin Tucker waiting to get his opportunity. The Texas alumnus has been nothing short of spectacular in 2012, connecting on 32 of his 35 attempts (2-2 this postseason). Seeing as this matchup will likely come down to the last possession, I’d think that the Ravens have the edge with the more reliable kicker on their roster.

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Joe Flacco is ready to prove his doubters wrong

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Throughout his first four years in the NFL, Flacco has failed to deliver during the postseason. Despite making the playoffs every year since being drafted, the Ravens consistently find a way to underwhelm in January and have yet to make it this far. With three big playoff wins already under his belt this year, Flacco can finally take that next step towards being a top-tier NFL quarterback by pulling off a win in the biggest game of his career. Seeing the way he has played, I find it hard to believe that the 49ers will be able to overcome his inspired play.

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One more before retirement for Ray Lewis

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It all comes down to this for Lewis. One final game before he hangs up the cleats for good and calls it a career, and what better game than the Super Bowl? Amidst all of the talk of scandal from a decade ago, Lewis is ready to go out with a bang and sing his swan song to the tune of a second Super Bowl ring. The Ravens’ entire team will be pouring their hearts into this game for Lewis, and I can’t see any way that they let their emotional leader and the face of the Ravens franchise down in his farewell game.

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The Ravens have come too far to fail now

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Look at what the Ravens had to do to get here. First, they knocked off rookie phenom Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts in the Wild Card Round. Then they went on the road to the chilly Mile High City to face off against the Denver Broncos, who were favorites to win the Super Bowl heading into the postseason. They played one of the best playoff games in recent history and came away with a hard-fought victory over Peyton Manning and Co. Finally, they went in to Gillette Stadium and again proved doubters wrong against the high-flying New England Patriots. They’ve come too far and overcome too much adversity at this point to fall flat during the Super Bowl.

Gil Alcaraz IV is a Network Manager/NFL featured columnist for Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.