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49ers-Ravens rematch is far from expectations

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When the 49ers and Ravens faced each other in Super Bowl XLVII, it looked like a rematch we could reasonably expect to see again over the next few years. At the least, this was expected to be just the beginning for Jim Harbaugh and San Francisco, a team so absurdly loaded with talent that they could start making luxury mid-round project picks with their draft stockpile.

Now, we find the latest incarnation of this rivalry featuring two last-place 1-4 teams.

Every game, all season

During a conference call with 49ers reporters, John Harbaugh was asked about the fallout, mainly Jim's bizarre and painstaking separation from the 49ers that eventually led him to the University of Michigan.

"It's not tough at all to not think about it," John said, via The Baltimore Sun. "It just never comes to mind. It's not part of the equation at all. Life moves on.

"I've said this before, many times, but Jim loved his time there. ... He feels great about it. If he feels great about it, I feel great about it for him. Other than that, I'm not involved in that at all. Never was."

If nothing else, Sunday's matchup teaches us a few things:

1. Be in awe of the Patriots. This run is absolutely incredible considering the rapid turnover in the NFL. Somehow, Bill Belichick has created a sustained culture of success unlike anything we've ever seen. Patriots fans can reasonably expect to make the playoffs every single season.

2. Realize that the cliche -- take nothing for granted -- is almost 100 percent true in this league. How many of us would have bought a million shares of the 2011 San Francisco 49ers at a high price? At the end of the day, this is an imperfect system run by humans, many of whom have attitudes and egos.

3. Be in awe of the Ravens. This is by far their worst season under Harbaugh and one of the few bad seasons they've had under general manager Ozzie Newsome.

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