Throughout NFL History, great players have found ways to will his team to the victory. Other times, it’s been a player that we weren’t expecting to make an impact that ended up being the key factor. This year, there are a lot of players that I could see ending up making a huge impact on Super Bowl XLVII.
1. OLB Paul Kruger, Baltimore Ravens
People may not know much about him, but Paul Kruger has quietly been the Ravens’ best pass rusher throughout the playoffs. He has totaled 18 pressures and 2.5 sacks in this year’s playoffs. Kruger excels at exploding off the line of scrimmage as soon as the ball is snapped. He creates a major problem for tackles that he lines up against. Make sure to look out for #99.
2. RB LaMichael James, San Francisco 49ers
I don’t foresee Frank Gore haven’t a big game in the Super Bowl. Gore possesses a running style that the Ravens are very comfortable going up against. LaMichael James is another story. He possesses speed and agility that will wear out the Ravens defense. The Ravens don’t have much speed on defense, and they’ll find it very hard to stop James, who fits perfectly in the 49ers offensive scheme.
3. WR Jacoby Jones, Baltimore Ravens
Jacoby Jones has had a pretty quiet playoff run so far, but I expect all of that to change in the Super Bowl. 49ers cornerbacks Carlos Rogers and Chris Culliver will be all over Ravens wide receivers Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin. This will free up Jacoby Jones in the passing game. However, not only do I think Jones will make an impact in the passing game, he’ll also make a huge impact on special teams. The 49ers special teams hasn’t been very shaky in the playoffs, but Jacoby Jones has been the best returner in the NFL all year. He’ll be determined to finally make a huge impact in a playoff game.
4. ILB Dannell Ellerbe, Baltimore Ravens
When people think about a Ravens inside linebacker playing well in the playoffs, they think of Ray Lewis. They should think of Dannell Ellerbe. Ellerbe has something Ray Lewis doesn’t have anymore, and that’s speed. It will be Ellerbe’s job to cover Vernon Davis. He’ll also have to bottle up Frank Gore up the middle. To me, there’s no doubt that Ellerbe will be ready for that difficult task.
5. TE Delanie Walker, San Francisco 49ers
I’ve said before and I’ll say it again. The Baltimore Ravens linebackers struggle with speed. The Ravens will be sure to eliminate Vernon Davis by getting some cornerback help, but what will they do about Delanie Walker? Walker is a very underrated tight end, and the Ravens will probably be too occupied with Randy Moss, Michael Crabtree, and Vernon Davis. This will let Delaine Walker get more open in the passing game. The only problem is if Walker can step up to the plate. Walker has dropped two passes in the playoffs and dropped nine passes in the regular season. Drops will be not acceptable in the Super Bowl.