Prior to the 49ers win over the Atlanta Falcons, I put together some video looking at five specific plays from the 49ers 2012 season that helped define what the 49ers season was about. Although the beginning of the video talks briefly about the NFC Championship Game, I still think it is pertinent to where the 49ers are at two weeks later.
Although I was looking at five specific plays, I felt they represented five big storylines and keys to the 49ers season. Those five are:
1. Michael Crabtree's big contributions
2. The physicality of the 49ers offensive line in the run game
3. Defensive physicality
4. Colin Kaepernick's response to turnovers
5. Colin Kaepernick taking over at quarterback
These storylines will play at on the biggest stage of them all this Sunday at Super Bowl 47. Michael Crabtree remains a key to this offense, even after seeing Vernon Davis put together a big game against the Falcons. Crabtree remains the team's strongest consistent receiver. And even if he does not have a monster Super Bowl, he is likely to impact the game at the very least in how the Ravens elect to cover him and shade their secondary one way or another.
The 49ers physicality on both sides of the ball has been a storyline for the Ravens players. The Ravens have received plenty of questions about that, and they also view themselves as a decidedly physical team. Although the 49ers can get a little finesse-y in how the offense attacks a team, at its heart, this offense is based around the run and the physicality they get from their offensive line. And of course, it will be an incredibly physical battle against two big receivers in Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith who can get plenty physical themselves.
And of course, Colin Kaepernick will be a major part of this game in every respect. The 49ers will throw a lot of different looks at the Ravens, but their use in particular of the read option will be dictated in part by what kind of looks they get from the Ravens defensive front. It will be an intriguing chess match between 49ers OC Greg Roman and Ravens DC Dean Pees.
Want to join the Niners Nation discussion? Register for free (no spam!). Make sure and follow us on Twitter @ninersnation and Like us on Facebook to get the full experience in what hopefully leads to Lombardi No. 6 in New Orleans!