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super bowl xlvii game ball An official game ball for the NFL football Super Bowl XLVII. The San Francisco 49ers will play the Baltimore Ravens in the Super Bowl on February 3 in New Orleans. (Photo: AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

A Super Match-Up!

49ers and Ravens square off in Super Bowl XLVII

By Amiri Tulloch | January 31 , 2013

After a 16-game regular season and three exciting rounds of playoffs, the NFL season comes down to this: Super Bowl XLVII (47). The San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens will meet at the Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday to play for the right to call themselves world champions.

"Every team comes into training camp, and they all have one vision. And, it is to one day be sitting on this podium and getting ready to fight for a NFL championship," Ravens defensive back Ray Lewis said at Super Bowl Media Day on Tuesday. "It is the ultimate."

But as the 2012 season went on, neither team was expected to make it this far.

The 49ers had a strange year. They were involved in the NFL's first tie since 2008 when they fell even 24-24 with the St. Louis Rams on Week 10. Then head coach Jim Harbaugh decided to replace starting quarterback Alex Smith with inexperienced backup Colin Kaepernick. Smith had thrown 13 touchdowns and only five interceptions in 10 games. But after he suffered a concussion in Week 11, Kaepernick took over and has started every game since.

The Ravens, meanwhile, started their year with a 9-2 record. But the team limped through the second half of the season and fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron after Week 14 due to decreased offensive production. Another surprise came from Ray Lewis, a sure-fire hall-of-famer, announcing before the team's first playoff game that he would be retiring at the end of this season.

The 49ers got here by defeating the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons. Because they were number-two seed in the NFC conference, the 49ers had a first-round bye. That means they only had to play in the second and third round of the playoffs.

The Ravens had a tougher road. They came in as the fourth seed and had to play three games. They defeated the Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, and New England Patriots to claim a spot in the Super Bowl. The Broncos and Patriots were the top two teams in the AFC conference, so the Ravens had to earn their trip to New Orleans!

"With the talent that we have, this is where we should be, and with the coaching staff that we have," 49ers offensive tackle Anthony Davis said Tuesday. "Anything else would be considered a failure.”

Playing in the Super Bowl is what every football player and coach dreams about. And this year, a lot's on the line in Super Bowl XLVII.

The 49ers are looking to claim its sixth Super Bowl title. The last time the 49ers won was 1994. If they win on Sunday, they will join the Pittsburgh Steelers as the only NFL team with six world championships. The Ravens are trying to win their second title. (Their last title came in the 2000 season.) But the team also wants to pull out a win for its leader, defensive back Ray Lewis, and make sure he retires a champion.

"To go out with that confetti coming from the top of this building, and hearing those famous words, that the Ravens are Super Bowl champions, there is no greater legacy," Lewis said Tuesday.

But the most intriguing storyline is the head coaches. 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Ravens coach John Harbaugh are brothers. The Harbaughs met during the regular season in 2012, with John and his Ravens pulling out a 16-6 win.

“I know one is going to win and one is going to lose,” Jackie Harbaugh, John and Jim's mom, said. “But I would really like it to end in a tie. Can the NFL do that?”

Unfortunately, Mrs. Harbaugh, there are no ties in the Super Bowl.

Who do you think will win Super Bowl XLVII? Let us know on the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps Blog!

More Super Bowl XLVII coverage: Kid Reporter Anya Jensen reports from San Francisco about the city getting ready to watch the 49ers in the Super Bowl. And Kid Reporter Emily Shao reports from Maryland about Baltimore Ravens' fans getting ready for the Super Bowl.

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