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God was clearly on Ravens' side- NFL Unfiltered: Super Bowl Edition


And on the seventh day He didn’t rest after all.  He helped the Baltimore Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII.

Inside the manger of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the Ravens held off those sinners from San Francisco 34-31 in one of the most compelling championship tilts in NFL history.  

Truth be told, I am not a Ray Lewis fan.  Not because of his actions (whatever they were) 12 years ago.  And not because the hype that surrounds him hasn’t equaled his football performance in about five seasons.  Ray Lewis photo: Getty Images

No, my issue with Lewis is that he implies his walk with the Lord is somehow more effective and fruitful than mine and everyone else’s.  He’s quick to quote scripture as proof he’s bathed in Christ.  He condescended when asked about the possibility of using a banned substance as if the mere suggestion is blasphemous.  

Still, I have to admit he knew better.  He knew God liked the Baltimore Ravens more than the San Francisco 49ers.

How else do you explain the way Lewis’ Ravens won three consecutive postseason games despite underdog status?  How much more evidence of the Savior’s preferences do we need before we realize the road to salvation goes through the Ravens’ great linebacker?     

We can all ignore quarterback Joe Flacco’s historic playoff performance, head coach John Harbaugh’s smooth guidance of an aging football team and WR-KR Jacoby Jones’ impact.  This is all about Lewis and the fact he believes more stridently than we do.    

We now know Denver Broncos’ safety Rahim Moore’s failure to repent is the primary reason the Ravens sit on the NFL’s mountain top.  

It seemed obvious to anyone but a casual observer the 49ers were the better team.  But for about 2 ½ hours, the size of the stage crippled them. Not enough prayer, I suspect.  

While Flacco and his teammates looked completely comfortable in the moment, roaming the field with halos overhead, the 49ers couldn’t even remember how to line up correctly.  If only they had studied a few more proverbs.      

Head coach Jim Harbaugh is terrific, and as long as quarterback Colin Kaepernick is healthy, the 49ers will remain relevant.  But the devil in him caused his team to behave immaturely in the first half.  Kaepernick photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times

Some suggest the 34-minute power outage aided the 49ers by changing the game’s momentum.  I contend it merely served as benediction for Lewis, another few moments to remind his teammates he had already seen the outcome on high.  

Late in the 4th quarter with a first and goal from the 7-yard line, it seemed the 49ers were on the verge of the largest comeback in Super Bowl history.  But they fell just short because they failed to worship Him with conviction.  

Tattoos be damned, Kaepernick can’t be a true believer.  If he were he would have overcome the terrible 2nd and 3rd down plays his coaches sent in.  If he had given God the glory like Lewis has, he would have seen the blitz coming on 4th down and executed a perfect scoring play. 

But that’s not what happened.  Instead, the Lord placed his hand on Ravens’ cornerback Jimmy Smith, who then placed it on wide-receiver Michael Crabtree.  Like Egyptians in defiance of the Lord, the 49ers were plagued by mental errors and penalties.  

As miracles go, this has to rank right up there with the division of Jordan and turning water into wine.  

Just as the scripture says.

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What the pundits can’t or won’t say

Based on the Holy Spirit’s actions in this year’s game, can I assume Lewis is only the 2nd greatest leader of all time?

It turns out NFL Films’ Greg Cosell, Ron Jaworski and the rest of the old guard are right.  Championship quarterbacking is done from within the pocket.

Movement is important as both Kaepernick and Flacco proved, but Kaepernick’s arm means far more than his legs.

 I don’t know enough about officiating to say referee Jerome Boger earned a Super Bowl appearance, but he and his crew lost control of the game early and never regained it.  Flacco photo: www.ravensmania.com

Ray Rice is a really good running back, but physicality seems to get under his skin more than it should.  

It’s silly to say Flacco is an elite quarterback, but there is no question he is better than most. And in the postseason, he’s better than all but a few.  

Now that we watched 49ers’ cornerback Chris Culliver get beat repeatedly in the Super Bowl, wouldn’t it be cool if Anquan Boldin or Jacoby Jones were gay?

Speaking of Culliver, “Methinks thou doth protest too much.”  Then again, his commentary about the possibility of a gay teammate suggests he may not know William Shakespeare’s work.    

I like the way quarterback Alex Smith carried himself, but the pity party the media threw for him was too much to bear. Where were they in January 2011? He isn’t as good as Kaepernick, period.  However, he managed to earn upwards of $50 million dollars from 2005-2010. The 49ers’ don’t owe him a darn thing.  

A while ago I said ESPN’s Total QBR is no way to measure an NFL quarterback.  Here is another example why.  Joe Flacco produced a Total QBR of 95.1 while Colin Kaepernick measured 46.1.  Does anyone believe Flacco played twice as well as Kaepernick?  ESPN says 50.0 is an average game for a quarterback.  Does anyone think Kaepernick’s impact on the game was below average?  Remember this the next time you find yourself enamored by statistics.  

Earl Myers is a freelance writer from the Philadelphia area.  He closely follows North America's four major sports leagues but just about any sporting event gets his attention.  His goal is to provoke a little thought in his readers.

Contact Earl at emyersiii@gmail.com

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Ray Lewis photo: Getty Images

Kaepernick photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times

Flacco photo: www.ravensmania.com