Who do you think will win the Super Bowl?
By Melissa Isaacson
It is hard to discount the fact that the Baltimore Ravens have upset the two top-seeded teams in the AFC en route to the Super Bowl. Joe Flacco has looked brilliant at times, as has running back Ray Rice. And certainly, the Ravens' defense will be inspired to give retiring linebacker Ray Lewis a championship farewell.
But young QB Colin Kaepernick has emerged as the X factor this season and he does not appear to be the type to shrink on the biggest stage. Though Baltimore may have the emotional edge and it figures to be close, the 49ers are the better team overall.
By Kate Fagan
At this point, after picking against them this entire postseason, I have to go with the Baltimore Ravens. I've finally come to a place where I believe the Ravens are, in a way, like the New York Giants from last season -- they find a way to win, even though you never feel as though they should. I thought the Ravens had no chance against the Broncos. That turned out to be a silly notion. I figured they would get buried at New England, the Patriots easily stepping over Baltimore en route to the Super Bowl. We all know how that went.
I guess my point is: I have to stop repeating the same mistake. My gut tells me the 49ers have more offensive firepower, that they should win this game. But in the end, I don't think that's going to happen. The Ravens keep finding a way, and I think they'll do it one more time Sunday.
Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco will prove he's just good enough to win his team a championship, which means he's pretty darn good. Of course, being "just good enough to win a title" is also how many people view the skills of Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Not terrible company for Flacco to be keeping.
Ravens win it all. I can't believe I just typed that.
By Jane McManus
San Francisco. I'm picking San Francisco, and not just because I think the meaner Harbaugh has the upper hand.
Both teams have excellent defenses, both have a solid running game, so for me it comes down to the quarterback. That got me into trouble when I picked Green Bay to get to the Super Bowl against Baltimore at the start of the season, but I'm keeping that philosophy going into this game.
Colin Kaepernick is just a better quarterback -- in his very young career -- than Joe Flacco. In big situations he has been unflappable.
San Francisco hasn't lost a Super Bowl in five tries, and there is a ton of momentum behind the team. Plus, I think the meaner Harbaugh really does have the upper hand.
By Michelle Smith
It would appear Bay Area sports fans will be having another parade. The 49ers will beat the Ravens because Jim Harbaugh's big gamble has paid off. Colin Kaepernick is more than a burgeoning star. He is a serious football threat. He can score touchdowns running and passing. This is a team that kicked a lot of field goals when Alex Smith was running the show. But Kaepernick will pressure the Ravens' defense because they don't know whether he will run or throw. And inside the 20-yard line, that's a big advantage. John Harbaugh's team got the best of Jim's team in a defensive showdown on Thanksgiving in 2011. But the 49ers aren't a team that needs to rely on defense any longer. Not with Kaepernick under center.