Rookie Justin Tucker (6) has been a stud, making 30 of 33 field goals, including the winner in double overtime in Denver. P Sam Koch (4) is steady.
So is Patriots PK Stephen Gostkowski (3), who hit on 29 of 35 field goals. But New England showed vulnerability on kickoff coverage against Houston.
P Zoltan Mesko (14) is inconsistent. Against the Texans, he rocketed several kicks beyond 50 yards, and also had a couple of near-flubs.
There are no true game-breakers on New England’s kick return squads, with coach Bill Belichick emphasizing ball security over everything.
Two of the best in the business.
Harbaugh has taken the Ravens to the postseason in all five of his years as a head coach. Not even Vince Lombardi managed that.
Harbaugh put his faith in Flacco, has filled out the offense around him, and will make the tough call when things don’t pan out. He fired coordinator Cam Cameron in December when the Ravens were stagnating.
He’s been fortunate to have a strong defense during most of those five seasons, and his coaching staff has gotten the D back on track, for the most part, in the playoffs.
Belichick would reach his sixth Super Bowl as a head coach with a win Sunday, matching Don Shula’s mark. A defensive wizard early on, Belichick recognized what he had in Brady and turned the QB loose. Now, the Patriots are one of the great offensive teams in NFL history.
He also could tie Chuck Noll for most Lombardi Trophies if New England takes home its fourth prize in February.
Both Harbaugh and Belichick are sons of football coaches, and Harbaugh’s younger brother, Jim, is San Francisco’s head man.
Simple for both teams:
—Patriots haven’t won NFL title since 2004 season and have lost last two Super Bowl trips. They are determined and not a little bit ticked off.
—Ravens haven’t won NFL title since 2000 season, have lost two of last four AFC championship games, and know their emotional leader is about to retire.
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