Ravens v. 49ers: Are We Heading For A Super Harbaugh Bowl?
“Super Bowl 47 on CBS is brought to you by Mr. and Mrs. Jack Harbaugh.”
That could be Jim Nantz’s opening line next February when Super Bowl VLVII begins in New Orleans. It could be the second annual Harbaugh Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers vs. the Baltimore Ravens.
Married for more than 50 years, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh have 3 children, including sons John and Jim Harbaugh. John, of course, is the head coach of the Ravens. His younger brother, Jim, is the head coach for the 49ers.
If the two brothers face off on the field again, it would be the second coming of the Harbaugh Bowl. The 2011 season brought us the inaugural event when the Ravens defeated the 49ers 16-6 on Thanksgiving evening. The two teams, in separate conferences, are not scheduled to meet this year. So the Super Bowl is the only possible venue for the Harbaugh Bowl this season.
Could it really happen? Absolutely.
Both squads have winning records and dominating defenses. The Ravens at 5-1 will suffer defensively with the loss of Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb to injuries. But they hope to have linebacker Terrell Suggs back this weekend against the Houston Texans. Suggs was named the 2011 Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year for the NFL. The Ravens’ defense helped secure a key 31-30 victory over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
Many believe the 49ers have the best defense in the league, led by linebackers Patrick Willis and Navorro Bowman. Now 5-2, the 49ers’ defense ensured a crucial 30-22 win over league MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers to open the season.
For both teams, the question marks may lie in the quarterback position. Ravens’ quarterback Joe Flacco wants to be thought of as an elite play caller. But Baltimore only managed 9 points against the hapless Kansas City Chiefs. The elite quarterback debate rages on the West Coast regarding Alex Smith as well. Smith and the San Francisco offense failed to score a touchdown this year in a match-up with the New York Giants.
However, if the Ravens and the 49ers can answer their quarterback questions and stay tough on defense, we may indeed have Mr. and Mrs. Harbaugh to thank for bringing us Super Bowl 47.