As a writer who writes predominately for the greater Utah valley fan base, I would like to draw your attention away from just that. A part of me would slam it in your face like the next Utah sports guy, but the sympathetic part of me differs. Let’s face it: the Jazz just took a 45-point drubbing from the Rockets and have proven to be inferior to anyone decent. The Utes have lost seven of their last eight, while eight of their overall 11 losses have come by seven points or less. How is that for depressing? Utah State started the season on fire, running off a 14-1 streak of awesomeness before skidding to an abrupt stop and losing their last four to a handful of nobody’s. One thing that has always proven entertaining for the two weeks leading up to the Superbowl is, well, the two weeks leading up to the Superbowl! So, leave the desolate array of Utah sports helplessness and join me for a few moments in analytical discussion about the big day.
If there is one thing that the 2013 Baltimore Ravens remind me of it is the fascinating example of just a ‘good’ team that is peaking at the right time. The freshest comparison to draw would be the New York Giants and how they made their remarkable run last year through the playoffs after finishing the season 9-7 and grabbing the wildcard (when their was only one wildcard, too). It was almost like you forgot they were even in the playoffs before you noticed them moving on past the first weekend. The Ravens finished the regular season at 10-6 and won their division on a tiebreaker to the Bengals. People knew they were good, but I don’t think anyone can honestly say that they were Superbowl good.
In my mind, they have the same quarterback who has his moments of shine that he is more than capable making consistent, but is otherwise ho-hum. Their defense has always been outstanding. They have excellent linebackers and defensive backs, and we all know that Ray Lewis is anticipating going out with a bang. If the Ravens had to be summarized with one word it would have to be consistent. Their defense shuts people down and their offense scores enough points to get them by. In the past five years, this has always remained a plausible recipe for a winning team, but never one good enough to put them over the top. What is the difference this year?
The answer is almost too simple. It’s their offense. If you can remember me mentioning the fact that they are peaking at the right time, that time didn’t really arrive until the playoffs arrived. The Ravens finish the regular season losing four of their last five, but since then, they have scored 24, 28, and 38 to beat the Broncos in double overtime in the divisional game. This is offense that didn’t exist in the past during this time of the year. When the Ravens won in the past they have always been that team that had to squeak victories out. This post season that has changed.
If you noticed that in no where above I mentioned the San Francisco 49ers, their sophomore quarterback, and their head coach who is actually brothers with Baltimore’s head coach, then you should know where my heart is. The Baltimore Ravens will win Superbowl XLVII.