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Super Bowl XLVII expert picks

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Jay Glazer — Senior NFL Writer

I’m taking the 49ers because of what Kaepernick does to their offense. He makes them so incredibly hard to defend, and the 49ers coaches do a great job of finding what a defense gives them when teams overcommit on Colin. Winner: 49ers

Alex Marvez — Senior NFL Writer

After picking against the Ravens the past two weeks, make room for my husky frame on the bandwagon. I think having an extra week to prepare will help Baltimore's defense counter all the funky formations fielded by San Francisco's offense. I also think the Ravens can have success rushing against San Francisco, which is the key to success against the 49ers. All four of San Francisco's regular-season losses came against teams that posted 100-plus yards on the ground. Baltimore has that capability thanks to a new offensive coordinator (Jim Caldwell) and revamped offensive line. Winner: Ravens

Peter Schrager — NFL Contributor

I've been riding this Ravens train since Week 16 when they beat the Giants in Baltimore. I haven't picked against them since, and after wins over Indianapolis, and then both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in their home buildings, I'm not picking against them now. As someone who values the statistics, the individual matchups and the game tape, I tend to roll my eyes at terms such as "intangibles," "destiny," and "locker-room chemistry." Well, these Ravens have all the incredible intangibles, perfect locker-room chemistry and are clearly a team of destiny. Deer-antler spray, Bernard Pollard's comments from earlier in the week, Joe Flacco's unfortunate choice of words — it'll all be long forgotten by the time Ray Lewis gives that pregame speech on Sunday. By the way, how much would you pay to be a fly on the wall for that one? They're the Steelers from 2005, the Packers from 2011 and the Giants of 2012. They're this year's wild-card-round squad that goes on a tear at precisely the right time. I can give you the X's and O's and all the different matchups that favor Baltimore if you really want. Or, I can just tell you — like I've been doing for the past six weeks — to trust me on this one. Let's go with the latter. Winner: Ravens

Jen Floyd Engel — National Columnist

If I learned anything from listening to Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells, it is that it's always about the quarterback. Tell me who the best quarterback is, and I will tell you who is going to win. It was foolproof until these playoffs, when Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco knocked off Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in successive weeks to get his team to the Super Bowl — where again he faces what in my opinion is another superior quarterback in Colin Kaepernick. Flacco has proven himself elite, but I still believe it is always about the quarterback — and the Niners have the more versatile and rattle-proof one. Winner: 49ers

Nancy Gay — Senior NFL Editor

Ravens QB Joe Flacco has been a solid playoff starter in his first five NFL seasons, but I am fascinated by the potential of 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick in this game. The 49ers switched from the read-option to a rush-heavy offense in the NFC title game and methodically erased a 17-0 deficit to beat the Falcons in a noisy Georgia Dome. The 49ers' greatest weakness is kicker David Akers, but it shouldn't come down to him. With a superb offensive line, Kaepernick running the pistol and Frank Gore in the backfield, the 49ers have the edge over the Ravens’ star-studded defense. Winner: 49ers

A.J. Perez — Senior Writer

Expect the Niners to shut down Ravens running back Ray Rice. Colin Kaepernick and the rest of the 49ers offense should be able to at least counter whatever his counterpart, Joe Flacco, can do offensively. Winner: 49ers

Ross Jones — NFL Editor

Love the 49ers in this game. The added week of rest for defensive tackle Justin Smith will benefit this entire unit. Look for Aldon Smith to be a matchup nightmare off the edge against Bryant McKinnie. I think the "Quest for Six" mantra becomes reality. Winner: 49ers


QBs add intrigue to Super Bowl XLVII matchup between 49ers and Ravens. An inside look

Sid Saraf — NFL Editor

Call it paralysis by analysis. We’ve been fed so much information over the past two weeks that my initial prediction of a 49ers victory doesn’t seem so sure. Maybe Ray Lewis does have enough emotion to carry Baltimore to the Valhalla of Victory. Maybe the Ravens defense does have enough speed to keep up with 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Maybe Joe Flacco has one more mistake-free performance in him. Maybe . . . I’m really overthinking this one. You know what? I’m sticking with my gut. The 49ers take this game and hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Winner: 49ers

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