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Three key questions facing Ravens heading into Super Bowl

Will the Ravens' offense find success against the 49ers' defense?

Baltimore's offense is surging right now, playing its best football at the most important of the time of the season. The reshuffled offensive line continues to play well, Joe Flacco continues to impress and the ground combination of Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce has had consistent success in recent weeks as well. A group that so often sputtered while Cam Cameron was offensive coordinator has thrived under Jim Caldwell. But it'll be an interesting matchup Sunday as the Ravens' offense squares off with a 49ers defense that ranked among the top-4 in the NFL in nearly every major statistical category during the regular season. Patrick Willis and Navorro Bowman are two of the game's best inside linebackers, Aldon Smith is one of the league's top pass rushers and Justin Smith is a Pro Bowler at defensive end. But he 49ers' defense has struggled some during the last month, especially against the pass.

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Can Flacco exploit San Francisco's secondary?

Flacco's been playing at an extremely high level for the last month and a half while San Francisco's defense, for as well as it defended against the pass for much of the year, has struggled against the pass since the latter part of the regular season. Tom Brady threw for 443 yards against the 49ers in Week 15 and Russell Wilson threw four touchdowns against San Francisco a week later and the 49ers have now allowed 653 yards and five scores through the air in two playoff games. Flacco, meanwhile, has thrown for an average of 291 yards per game in the last four games that he's seen a full workload. He's thrown 10 touchdowns without an interception in those four games. In the playoffs, he's averaging nearly 17 yards per completion and he's completed 15 passes that have gone for gains of 20 yards or longer.

Can Baltimore slow down Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers' offense?

It won't be easy. Kaepernick's dynamic. He's a multi-dimensional weapon that's really underrated to a certain degree as a passer because of how dangerous he is as a runner, but he's just a dynamic all-around weapon at the quarterback position. But it's not just about Kaepernick. The 49ers have one of the NFC's top running backs in Frank Gore, a former Pro Bowl tight end in Vernon Davis, a wide receiver in Michael Crabtree that had 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns during the regular season and an offensive line that several Ravens offensive players described as one of the best in football. But Baltimore's defense has played well in the playoffs - allowing just four touchdowns in three postseason games.

Follow Matt Zenitz on Twitter @mzenitz.

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