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Bro Bowl

NEW ORLEANS -- For the first time in Super Bowl history, two brothers will face off against each other as head coaches. The Baltimore Ravens' John Harbaugh and San Francisco 49ers' Jim Harbaugh set up the milestone coaching matchup with impressive runs through the playoffs, thus providing Super Bowl XLVII with one of the greatest pregame storylines in the championship's history: brother vs. brother with the Lombardi Trophy at stake.

1

Who needs late-season momentum? The Ravens became just the second team since 1990 to advance to the Super Bowl after losing three of their last four regular-season games. The 2009 Saints, who beat the Colts in Super Bowl XLIV, are the only other team to accomplish this feat.

2

Flacco just fine in playoffs: Joe Flacco has won eight games in his postseason career. An NFL-record six of them have come on the road. Two of them have come at Gillette Stadium, making Flacco the only QB to defeat Bill Belichick's Patriots twice at home in the postseason.

3

Postseason powerhouse: The Ravens are 13-7 all-time in the playoffs. Their .650 winning percentage is the best in NFL history. In the Super Bowl, Baltimore faces a 49ers team that owns the fourth-best winning percentage in NFL playoff history (29-19, .604).

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How's that for starters? Colin Kaepernick made seven regular-season starts before leading the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII. Only one quarterback has ever won a Super Bowl with fewer career starts at quarterback than Kaepernick: Jeff Hostetler of the 1990 New York Giants, with four regular-season starts.

2

It takes two: The 49ers entered the playoffs as a No. 2 seed. No. 2 seeds have won six Super Bowls since 1990. Only No. 1 seeds have fared better in the postseason, winning nine Super Bowls in that time span.

3

Finding success early: Jim Harbaugh is the fifth coach since 1970 to reach the conference championship game in each of his first two seasons as a head coach. Three of the four others won Super Bowls in one of those seasons (Don McCafferty, George Seifert, Barry Switzer).

 

QB Joe Flacco

Flacco has won playoff games in each of his first five seasons. This year's run only enhanced his reputation as somebody who is able to perform under difficult, pressure-packed circumstances. En route to Super Bowl XLVII, Flacco defeated two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks -- Peyton Manning and Tom Brady -- in their own stadiums in back-to-back weeks. Flacco will be on an impressive personal run entering Super Sunday, having thrown for eight touchdowns and no interceptions in three playoff victories this year.

LB Ray Lewis

The Lewis retirement extravaganza will continue through Super Bowl XLVII. While Lewis isn't the dominant force he was when he led the Ravens to triumph in Super Bowl XXXV following the 2000 season, the linebacker still dictates the emotional decorum of the team's locker room. Lewis could turn out to be one of the few all-time greats to go out with a championship victory.

Coach John Harbaugh

John Harbaugh completed a historic matchup when his Ravens defeated the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. For the first time in Super Bowl history, the opposing head coaches will be brothers. John Harbaugh will face younger brother Jim (John, who is 50 years old, is just a year older) in Super Bowl XLVII, leading the Ravens to their first Super Bowl appearance in 12 years.

QB Colin Kaepernick

The second-year quarterback with just nine starts -- including two in the postseason -- has been a catalyst for the 49ers' march to Super Bowl XLVII. Kaepernick hasn't flinched in the face of enormous playoff pressure, helping the 49ers overcome a 17-point hole against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game en route to a 28-24 win. Kaepernick's combination of arm strength and running prowess will make him an enticing player for fans to follow on Super Sunday.

LB Patrick Willis

Willis anchors what is one of the NFL's finest defensive units. At no point was the stubbornness of the 49ers defense more evident than in the NFC Championship Game. After digging a 17-0 hole, the 49ers bunkered into what makes them great ... stout defense. The 49ers held the Atlanta Falcons at bay, outscored them 28-7 in the second half en route to victory. That should come as no surprise to those who have followed the team. The 49ers ranked third in the league in second-half point differential (plus-77).

Coach Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh never made it to the Super Bowl as a player, coming closest with the Indianapolis Colts in 1995 after losing a heart-wrenching AFC Championship Game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Jim Harbaugh has been more successful as a coach, leading the 49ers to consecutive conference championship games and one Super Bowl appearance in just two seasons in San Francisco.