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Super Bowl XLVII

Kaepernick's poise in big game will be key for 49ers offense

After winning four Super Bowls in the 80's and one in the 90's, the San Francisco 49ers have been without an appearence in football's biggest game since 1995.

That is until now.

Behind the arm strength and speed of quarterback Colin Kaepernick a nd a stout defense led by linebacker Patrick Willis, the 49ers have returned to the Super Bowl for the first time since winning it in 1995.

With Kaepernick taking over for former starting quarterback Alex Smith midway through the season, the 49ers have added an entirely new dimension to their offense with Kaepernick's ability to run and scramble out of the pocket.

While the offense has been getting plenty of press lately, it is the play of the 49ers defense which has led them to two straight NFC Championship appearences and now a Super Bowl.

If the 49ers want to win, the offense must establish an ability to move the ball against a tough Ravens defense which will help in keeping the 49ers defense off the field and rested throughout the game.

Will Ravens send Lewis out as a champion?

Ray Lewis is calling it a career at the end of the season.

And there's nothing the rest of the Baltimore Ravens would like than to send him out with a Super Bowl victory.

Winners of the NFC North, the Ravens have won three straight games to return to the big game for the first time since winning it all back in 2001.

The Ravens defeated the Indianapolis Colts 24-9 and followed that up with a 38-35 double overtime win over the Broncos in Denver. And to reach the Super Bowl the Ravens played a dominate second half in a 28-13 win over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

While Baltimore has been known for a tough defense, the offense has also been playing better in the playoffs.

Quarterback Joe Flacco, running back Ray Rice and receivers Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith pace an offensive attack that has averaged 30 points per game.

If the Ravens want to win, the defense must slow down a 49ers offensive attack that likes to control the clock. Scoring early on offense will force the 49ers out of their comfort zone and right into the hands of a Ravens defense ready for the challenge of stopping Colin Kaepernick.

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