Niners’ Gore making ‘Super’ prediction
Posted: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 7:00 pm
By BARRY WILNER
AP Pro Football Writer
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens carried off the Lombardi Trophy. Their beaten opponent has a better chance of doing it next season.
San Francisco running back Frank Gore insisted the 49ers were the more talented team even after losing 34-31 to the Ravens in Sunday’s Super Bowl. The scoreboard said otherwise, but when the conference champions meet at the Meadowlands next February — yes, outdoors in the dead of winter for the NFL crown — the Niners easily could represent the NFC.
“I’d say we’ve got a great group of guys in the locker room, great warriors,” Gore said.
The toughest fight might be in their own division with Seattle and rapidly improving St. Louis. The Seahawks were the only team to allow fewer points than the 49ers, and their rivalry — including the semi-feud between coaches Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll — adds spice to the NFC West.
But the 49ers have to be the NFC favorite after losing in overtime to the Giants for the conference title last year, then barely falling to the Ravens on Sunday night.
“This is kind of tough, to get this far and let everything slip away through your hands,” said Ahmad Brooks, part of the best linebacking corps in the league, along with All-Pros Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith and NaVorro Bowman. “The funny thing about it is, within the next few months, we’re going to start trying to get back to the same place that we’re at right now.”
As will the Ravens, but their challenge is more imposing.
Unlike the 49ers, who figure to lose virtually no important parts — receiver Randy Moss, perhaps, but he was a marginal player in 2012 — the Ravens have bid adieu to their greatest player, linebacker Ray Lewis.
Not only will they miss his performances on the field and his presence in the locker room, but he was the emotional engine in Baltimore. Published in The Messenger 2.5.13