Key player: Bryant McKinnie
Baltimore’s behemoth left tackle (and by behemoth, we mean 6 feet 8 inches, 354 pounds) may have the most important job in the Superdome Sunday. The 11-year veteran must protect Joe Flacco’s blind side from the 49ers’ relentless pursuit. If Flacco gets broken, then in comes Tyrod Taylor and out goes the Ravens’ hopes of dancing on Bourbon Street.
How he beats you: With athleticism and strength. He has deceptive quickness in his backpedal, and he’s big and tall. He uses his massive arms and freakish wingspan to fend off and swallow up defenders.
How to shut him down: By constantly pressuring him. It’s imperative for Aldon Smith and his band of destructive muckrakers to keep going after McKinnie because he lacks stamina and he isn’t the same guy in the second half.