One Harbaugh will win Super Bowl XLVII. Another will lose it. John turned 50 on Sept. 23, the day his Ravens played New England in a Sunday night game. Jim turned 49 on Dec. 23, the day his 49ers played Seattle in a Sunday night game. A huge amount of the pregame coverage will surround the brothers Harbaugh, but there's plenty of other, on-field stuff worthy of tuning in for.
Baltimore advanced while playing on the road, traveling to New England and upsetting the heavily favored Patriots 28-13, the 49ers rallied from a 17-0 hole to defeat the Atlanta Falcons, who had posted the best regular season record in the NFC.
The Patriots started out against the Ravens strong, jumping to a 3-0 lead and -- after a Baltimore score -- entering halftime up 13-7. New England had the better regular record, not to mention a playoff pedigree having played in five Super Bowls in the past 11 years. They also had Tom Brady, who last Sunday passed Joe Montana as the quarterback with the most playoff wins ever. But the second half was all Baltimore. The Ravens scored touchdowns on their first three possessions, two of them on Joe Flacco touchdown passes to receiver Anquan Boldin.
"We came here last year and left with a bitter taste in our mouths," Baltimore's Boldin told reporters after the game. "We felt like this team took something away from us. And we wanted to come back and make that right."
John Harbaugh to reporters, after the Ravens' win, that he and his brothers had a "few dreams" -- one of which may have been meeting up in the Super Bowl -- as well "as a few fights ... just like all brothers."
"We'll let the two teams duke it out, as much as possible," John Harbaugh said, smiling.
The 49ers haven't been in the Super Bowl since 1995, and their 2000s were marred by mostly losing regular seasons. Since the 2011 hiring of Jim Harbaugh, a former NFL quarterback himself who'd been coaching at nearby Stanford, things have turned for the best. The next season, they made it to the NFC Championship, only to fall to the eventual Super Bowl winners, the New York Giants. San Francisco's defense thrives on turnovers. It's also where they stole momentum against Atlanta, taking the ball away from Matt Ryan twice during the second half. Colin Kaepernick didn't put up impressive numbers, but he was solid in the 49er's victory over the Falcons. Trailing by three scores midway through the second quarter, San Francisco rallied for two quick touchdowns -- one on a LaMichael James 11-yard run, the other on a four-yard reception by tight end Vernon Davis.
This Super Bowl matchup features two of the most dominant inside linebackers of their eras. San Francisco's Patrick Willis counts Baltimore's Ray Lewis as a friend and mentor. The two have combined for 19 Pro Bowl appearances and 12 first-team Associated Press All-Pro selections. Lewis plans to retire after this game.
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