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.