Deep thoughts: Long ball could carry Ravens to win

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“There’s no way in the world that you can imagine Torrey blocking better down the field because Ray is quitting,” Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said. “There’s no way in the world that (fullback) Vonta Leach is going to give that much more, knocking that linebacker in the hole. I believe if Ray was saying he was going to play another year, these guys would give us the same thing.”

Ravens offensive linebacker Bobby Williams was asked why the Ravens are going to win.

“The spirit of the team is something special,” he said. “Everybody works hard around the league. The 49ers work hard. But the spirit of this team is different.”

After thumping Indianapolis at home and outlasting the top-seeded Broncos in double overtime, Baltimore disposed of host New England. Flacco, in succession, outplayed Andrew Luck, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. Now he goes up against second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is fleet of foot but short on experience.

Unless Kaepernick runs wild or connects repeatedly with Randy Moss, the self-proclaimed “greatest receiver ever to play this game,” then big brother John Harbaugh will be the one smiling when shaking hands with little brother Jim, San Francisco’s coach, as purple and black confetti falls from the roof of the Superdome.

PREDICTION: Ravens 24, 49ers 20.

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