Super Bowl XLVII is more about big plays than any other football game. One interception can clinch the championship or rip it away. One fifty yard touchdown pass or breakaway run can blow the game open or instantly bring a team back into the contest. As we approach the final hours before the HarBowl, we have to ask ourselves this question: Who has the big play edge, the Baltimore Ravens or San Francisco 49ers?
We’ll start with the quarterbacks. On the surface, the 49ers first year breakout star Colin Kaepernick seems to have the edge easily. He has the NFL’s best QB rating for passing plays over twenty yards and in general has had a higher rating than that of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. You have to look beneath the surface to see that Flacco’s passer rating in the playoffs is roughly twenty-five points higher than his regular season rating and is higher than Kaepernick’s. When you add in the explosive big run play that Kaepernick is capable of, the 49ers have the edge at QB big plays.
At running back things are pretty much even. The Ravens seem to be a little better at passes to the running back position but big plays rarely come from those plays. The Special Teams big play edge goes to the Ravens easily. Jacoby Jones has two kickoff returns for touchdown this season and one punt return touchdown.
Defensively the 49ers might have a slight edge in potential for a turnover or a big sack. The Ravens ability to sack the quarterback for a big play (like their nine sacks of Alex Smith in the previous Harbaugh vs Harbaugh game) will be greatly reduced by the speed and mobility of Kaepernick. Looking forward to the potential for a big game turning play, there really isn’t a huge edge to either team. You could give the big play potential edge to the 49ers but like many things in this match-up, it’s very close and therefore should be a lot of fun to watch.