Balanced 49ers offense aims to lead Super Bowl win
"He does it all. He's a beast," Ravens safety Ed Reed said. "He's one of those guys that you all say has it. He catches touchdowns, he's blocking. I'm surprised they haven't ran him yet, handing him the ball, but he's somebody you really have to know where he is at all times and be mindful of what he's doing, because they give him the ball, for one. You have to give him the ball. Why wouldn't you? But whoever is covering him, whether it's me, (safety) Bernard (Pollard), or anybody on our team covering him, you have to be really mindful of where he's at."
Crabtree had six catches against the Falcons and Randy Moss — who this week proclaimed himself "the greatest receiver ever to play this game" only to have Hall of Famer Jerry Rice beg to differ — made three.
San Francisco's offensive line will have to do a better job than in a 16-6 loss at Baltimore on Thanksgiving night 2011, when the unit allowed the Ravens to match a franchise record with nine sacks.
"We've seen enough film to kind of know what to expect, unless they come up with something different," center Jonathan Goodwin said. "But definitely a talented group up front, and that's what makes them a good defense. They try to do some things to confuse you."
If Crabtree and Kaepernick can pull off another outstanding outing in the game of their lives, they'll take the podium together again for an entertaining back and forth of compliments and good-natured ribbing.
After one game, they held a joint postgame news conference.
All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis, a member of San Francisco's stingy, run-stopping defense, regularly offers a pat on the back and hug to Kaepernick.
"In a close game, we would win because our defense doesn't give up," Davis said. "Our offense is always aggressive and eager to win."
Hoisting the Lombardi Trophy is the plan now. In the Niners' rooting section: Rice, Roger Craig, Joe Montana and Steve Young.
The current 49ers are fully aware of the history, most notably a perfect Super Bowl record that they must protect. San Francisco is 5-0 in championship games and trying to match the Pittsburgh Steelers for most ever.
"This is incredible, man,' Davis said. "Just being a part of this franchise is legendary — Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Steve Young — and to be able to bring a ring back, that's something that you can cherish for the rest of your life."
PREDICTION: 49ers 31, Ravens 27.
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