The Baltimore Ravens rode into the Big Easy yesterday and they hope the ride continues all the way to a Lombardi Trophy. I thought about this for a minute and it struck me how unlikely this scenario really was. Let’s face it, Baltimore was all but eliminated from Super Bowl contention. Think back to the game with the Denver Broncos. The absolute basic element of defending a last ditch effort is to keep your safety behind the deepest receiver. The Broncos forgot that and it probably cost them a Super Bowl berth. It definitely cost them a shot at it. The Ravens rode that wave into New England.
Once in Gillette Stadium, the Ravens rode a wave of declining secondary talent on the Patriots side of the ball, and the legs of Ray Rice to create opportunities for Joe Flaco, who’s riding his own wave of consistent and solid performance. Flaco has done one thing extremely well in these playoffs and that’s protecting the ball. The Ravens QB has not thrown a single interception in the post-season. Shades of Trent Dilfer, the workmanlike QB who carried Baltimore to their last Super Bowl victory.
In order to win this Super Bowl in the Big Easy the Baltimore Ravens will have to see all these waves combine into one huge tsunami. The San Francisco 49ers can beat you with pounding defense or fall back on the talents of Colin Kaepernick. Some things, like a wave of good luck and consistent play, will carry you a long way. A little bit of luck, like a safety completely blowing his assignment, helps some also.