NEW ORLEANS — Welcome to the Superdome, where the 49ers and Ravens will square off in less than an hour.
Here are the inactives:
San Francisco – QB Scott Tolzien, S Trenton Robinson, RB Jewel Hampton, LB Cam Johnson, DT Tony Jerod-Eddie, OLJoe Looney, DT Ian Williams.
Baltimore – CB Asa Jackson, S Omar Brown, CB Chris Johnson, LB Adrian Hamilton, OL Ramon Harewood, WR Deonte Thompson, DT Bryan Hall.
A few of the key things to watch for in my mind:
Ravens TE Dennis Pitta vs. 49ers ILBs: The 49ers will understandably be holding their safeties back to keep Joe Flacco from hitting the deep ball. That should leave a lot of room in the middle for the field for the underrated Pitta (and receiver Anquan Boldin) to operate.
Ravens DEs Terrell Suggs and Paul Kruger vs. 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick: Expect the Ravens to be content to let Frank Gore some some a little damage inside; what they don’t want to do is give up the edge to Kaepernick. That will lead to a blowout.
Ravens CBs vs. 49ers WR Michael Crabtree: The Ravens’ cornerbacks are OK but they haven’t seen many complete WRs like Crabtree. Kaepernick could play pitch and catch all day with Crabtree if he wanted to.
Jim Harbaugh wrinkles: I think Harbaugh is the best coach in the league and he’s going to have a few wrinkles that are sure to catch the Ravens my surprise. Can’t see the Ravens coming up with many surprises. They are who they are.
Ravens sending a message early: Expect the Ravens to have someone (safety Bernard Pollard?) to send a message, likely against Kaepernick, in the form of a vicious shot. They’ll take the 15-yard penalty just to send a message that we’re going to land the first punch and keep taking shots at you.
I’ll be posting a live blog shortly. So come on back.