Atholton coach Kyle Schmitt, a Pittsburgh native who moved to Maryland to play for the Terrapins, acknowledges that he didn't give the Ravens enough credit in the AFC Championship. But he still sees the Ravens' ride ending in the Super Bowl to 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick and his pistol-read option offense.
Prediction: 49ers 31, Ravens 27
"I underestimated the Ravens in the AFC Championship game last week versus the Patriots. They look like a team of destiny moving towards their second Super Bowl championship in franchise history. Offensively Joe Flacco has been excellent throughout the playoffs. If he continues to play well I like the Ravens' chances. The offensive line needs to continue its consistent postseason play. Ray Lewis and the defense will be inspired, however their ability to execute the plan will be much more important than their energy. The 49ers' multiple personnel groupings, pistol formations and play-action passes make them tough to defend. I'm sure the Ravens' week 14 matchup vs. the Redskins has been valuable tape for both teams.
My head tells me take the Ravens but my heart tells me take the team playing the Ravens. I won't be able to go home to Western PA if I choose the Purple and Black. Should be a great game but I will take Coach (Jim) Harbaugh, Kaepernick and the 49ers, 31-27."File photo/Brian Krista