Monday, 28 January 2013

Who needs the Super Bowl more?

In one week’s time the sporting world descends on Louisiana as San Francisco take on Baltimore in one of the most exciting Super Bowl match-ups in years. But who needs the win more?

The Ravens have only made the Super Bowl once in their history, where they beat New York Giants 34-7 in 2000. Over the last 13 years they have come close to a return to the big time but fallen in the AFC Championship twice. Their fans are right behind them and would love a second Super Bowl, especially in legendary linebacker Ray Lewis’ last season in the game.

Sometimes regular-season form counts for nothing and Baltimore – who lost four of the last five games before the playoffs – picked up a huge 24-9 win over the Colts to earn a Divisional match with Denver before overturning NFL betting news favourites Indianapolis on their own turf.

The 49ers’ winless streak goes even further back, to a 1994 victory against the Chargers. Fans have suffered badly over the last decade – recording a 2-14 record in 2004 – but under Jim Harbaugh are a completely different team.

They say you need to taste defeat before you can earn success and San Francisco, who lost 20-17 to the Giants in overtime at last season’s NFC Championship game, will want to get the job done this time around.

They came back from 17-0 down to beat Atlanta in the NFC Championship game: quarterback Colin Kaepernick proving a formidable leader in their offence to take the game 28-24.

Heading into the Super Bowl, we have one team buoyed by wins and full of confidence against a side that has shown quality and poise all season – punters who bet on NFL are still unsure who to back. Both teams have great weights of expectation on their shoulders and could make history on 3 February, where one will prove they want it just that little bit more.

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