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The Schein Nine

Super Bowl XLVII final thoughts: Prepare for a classic matchup

NEW ORLEANS -- Super Bowl Media Day already feels like a lifetime ago. I've eaten enough seafood for the year. I'm ready for what should be an epic Super Bowl.

We've talked to all the coaches and players from the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens. Here are my final Super Bowl XLVII thoughts, presented Schein Nine style:

1) The 49ers are "fresher under pressure"

SiriusXM NFL Radio partner Rich Gannon and I had a long, upbeat interview with Jim Harbaugh on Tuesday morning before the media circus. Harbaugh used the above quote to describe why San Francisco plays its best when it matters the most.

It is an amazing and unique trait.

Think about it: From Ahmad Brooks and NaVorro Bowman making plays to deny the Atlanta Falcons on their final possession to Colin Kaepernick refusing to flinch in the face of a 17-0 deficit, this is what the 49ers do when adversity strikes. The Super Bowl won't be too big for them.

2) Colin Kaepernick is the coolest cat in the room

We sat down with Kaepernick on Wednesday morning after his breakfast to talk about his rise to prominence and dominance. We discussed how he has answered every challenge, from cruising through his first NFL start against the Chicago Bears' play-making defense on national television ... to outdueling Tom Brady and beating the Patriots in New England ... to shaking off an early pick-six and putting on a show against the Green Bay Packers ... to threading the needle with majestic throws against the Falcons in the aforementioned comeback.

Kaepernick's demeanor is a plus. So are his smarts. Make no mistake: He is superbly coached under Harbaugh and the great Greg Roman. Also, Alex Smith has been extremely helpful.

This will come in handy in the Super Bowl.

3) Vernon Davis will be a factor

Kaepernick debunked the notion that Davis isn't his guy and that the tight end had a better rapport with Smith. Kaepernick simply said teams had been taking away Davis, so he fed Michael Crabtree the ball. That changed when Davis was dominant against Atlanta.

I think Davis is the go-to guy on Sunday and enjoys a big game.

4) Joe Flacco won't throw a pick

Flacco's 8:0 touchdown-to-interception ratio in the postseason is an amazing statistic, especially when you consider the ebb and flow of the playoff wins against the Colts, Broncos and Patriots.

I think this is going to be more of an offensive Super Bowl than you might expect with two solid defenses. I think Anquan Boldin continues to be tough and Torrey Smith makes a few plays over the top of the San Francisco defense.

5) The Niners' pass rush will be a non-factor

Talking to Aldon Smith, the linebacker disputed the notion that he has been quiet in the playoffs. Smith said he has created pressure, just not sacks, and when he has been double-teamed, it has opened things up for his teammates.

I don't buy it.

And I hate the matchup.

One of the biggest stories in the Super Bowl is how well the Ravens' revamped offensive line is playing with Bryant McKinnie at left tackle, Michael Oher shifted away from the blind side and Kelechi Osemele playing guard. Osemele quipped to us on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he thought it was a joke when he was first informed of the moves. Talking to all five Ravens linemen and offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, the rationale behind the reshuffling was to get the best pass protectors on the field at the same time. It worked brilliantly.

6) Michael Oher is soaking it all in

Oher told me that he is appreciating "every minute" of this experience, given the well-documented struggles of his upbringing. Oher explained, "I don't know anyone who made it out. I'm not supposed to be here."

I'll be rooting for Oher on Sunday.

7) Official-ly concerned

I was stunned to see Jerome Boger get the nod as the Super Bowl's lead official. I don't believe he is one of the best.

Ravens safety Bernard Pollard told me he is very concerned in general about the officiating -- not a specific comment on Boger -- as "refs just don't know what is legal and there is so much gray area on hits."

I think the officiating, the defensive pops, will be worth watching come Sunday.

8) Watch out for Ray McDonald

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Talking to San Francisco defenders, the common sentiment is that McDonald is the unit's unsung hero. McDonald told us he is OK being unheralded because the wins keep piling up.

I'm telling you: McDonald will get his hands on the football, stop the run and help shape this game.

9) Prediction

I can't wait for this game. I think Jacoby Jones is a big factor on special teams. I think Bernard Pierce gets a few big chunks, even against San Francisco's elite linebackers. I think the Niners' offensive line does its job for Frank Gore -- like always -- and the Ravens' defense is neutralized.

San Francisco wins in a classic, 28-24.

Follow Adam Schein on Twitter @AdamSchein.

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