Ravens, 49ers hope for rematch in Super Bowl LIV

A rain-soaked battle for the ages left fans of football pleased Sunday afternoon in Baltimore.

Sure, supporters of only one of the two teams could walk away from the game happy with the outcome. But the contest's entertaining, back-and-forth competition was undeniably thrilling. Both the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens would like to see it happen again.

"Every week is big, but being out on the field, it was a dogfight, and it definitely felt like we were in a playoff game," 49ers defensive end DeForest Buckner said, via ESPN. "And, God willing, we make it to the end, and hopefully we go against them again."

"The end" is, of course, Super Bowl LIV, to be played Feb. 2 in Miami with the world's football crown on the line. It's what all 32 teams play for and why the millions tune in every Sunday (and Monday, and Thursday).

Sunday felt different, like a legitimate Super Bowl preview. It was a game played between two teams so evenly matched, it's hard to see anyone else face off for the league's throne. These are the league's best two teams in terms of record, and based off what we saw Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium, they're the best adversary for each other.

It was only fitting that a field goal -- kicked by the game's best boot (Justin Tucker) through a consistent rain -- served as the difference in the Ravens' 20-17 win.

"They came in at 10-1 or whatever their record was," Ravens defensive end Chris Wormley said, again via ESPN. "That was a team that was looking to seal up the NFC West. We knew we had a little more work to do to kind of get some recognition out there, especially on the defensive side of the ball. But definitely a playoff game, definitely a team we could see in the Super Bowl if we both go on a nice playoff run. ... It was amazing."

The last time each team reached the sport's biggest stage was Feb. 3, 2013, when Ravens coach John Harbaugh faced off against his brother, Jim, in the Har-Bowl (Super Bowl XLVII). That game, a wacky contest that included a delay due to a power outage, came down to a goal line stand by the Ravens, who won 34-31.

Plenty has changed since then. Baltimore has completely shifted its offensive identity with Lamar Jackson, and the 49ers have proven you can rebuild in under five years. But if these teams continue on their current paths, we could see each side's wish come true.

Perhaps it won't rain in Miami.

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