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Super Bowl XLVII's eight underrated storylines

Less than a week from today, Around the League will be on the ground in New Orleans for an awesome week of Super Bowl XLVII coverage. From the HarBowl to Ray Lewis' last game, Baltimore Ravens-San Francisco 49ers won't be hurting for storylines. Here are a few less obvious angles we're looking forward to:

Randy Moss back on the big stage
One of the greatest receivers and interviews of all time is back in the Super Bowl five years after catching what he thought was a game-winning touchdown. It is incredible how seamlessly Moss has become a role player after a year away from football. It's easy to imagine him walking off into the sunset if the 49ers win.

Jim Harbaugh news conferences
It's hard to describe a Jim Harbaugh media session. Uneven might be the best word. Or uncomfortable. His brain always seems somewhere else, and you never know what's going to come out of his mouth, but it's often pretty interesting. The man has a unique take on how to use the English language.

San Francisco's schemes
X's and O's geeks love the 49ers because they are so hard to prepare for on both sides of the ball. If you love the game within the game, the 49ers give you more to talk about than any other team in the league. Both sides of the football are extremely versatile and creative.

Kicker drama!
Niners kicker David Akers missed a short kick in the NFC Championship Game. It's unlikely that the 49ers will bring in more competition for him, but Akers' struggles have to be a concern for San Francisco. Baltimore's Justin Tucker, meanwhile, has been one of the NFL's best kickers in his rookie season.

Baltimore's big personalities
This is not a team full of wallflowers. From wide receiver Anquan Boldin to linebacker Terrell Suggs to safety Bernard Pollard and running back Ray Rice, the Ravens are a compelling group. Ed Reed is from the New Orleans area, another all-time great searching for his first ring. The Ravens are anything but vanilla. Thankfully.

Ravens' big changes
Jim Harbaugh's switch from Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick at quarterback was gutsy. You could say the same thing about John Harbaugh's firing of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron after Week 14. The reaction after that move: The Ravens were desperate. Now it looks pretty good to say the least.

The team's dramatically re-vamped offensive line setup was an even bigger decision. Baltimore's protection and offense vastly improved after Harbaugh moved Bryant McKinnie to left tackle, Michael Oher moved to right tackle and Kelechi Osemele to left guard.


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Niners linebackers
It just doesn't get much better than Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith. (Even if Smith acts more like a defensive end.) This group was the difference in the NFC Championship Game.

San Francisco searches for a sixth title
The 49ers are the only franchise that has more than one Super Bowl appearance and remains undefeated in the big game. They could tie the Pittsburgh Steelers as the only franchise with six rings. The peace accord between the York and DeBartolo ownership families will be a big story in the coming weeks. It wasn't so long ago that the Yorks looked like one of the worst ownership groups in football.

For the first time in nearly two decades, one of the NFL's most storied franchises is back in the Super Bowl.

Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.

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