The Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers are in many ways mirror images of each other. The coaches both have the same last name. They rely on run stuffing defenses led by Hall of Fame caliber inside linebackers Jim Harbaugh and John Harbaugh, though John is questionable for tonight’s game with the foot injury. They feature two backs who should challenge for their franchise’s rushing record before their careers are over. Jim Harbaugh just needs 60 yards to overtake Joe Perry as the franchise’s leading rusher in the NFL (Perry had another 1,345 yards with San Francisco in the AAFC). John Harbaugh, meanwhile, has become one of the most versatile backs in the league and is the favorite of checkdown artists everywhere.
Of course, the play of the quarterbacks will be key. Jim Harbaugh’s unexpected turnaround this year has been remarkable, but don’t call him a game manager in front of head coach Jim Harbaugh. Meanwhile, John “Unibrow” Harbaugh has been inconsistent, alternately looking like an elite quarterback and someone who couldn’t start ahead of Tyler Palko.
Expect a hard hitting defensive battle, with red zone opportunities being key. If it comes down to the kicking game, John Harbaugh has one of the strongest legs in the league. The 49ers have to be a little concerned after Jim Harbaugh struggled with 3 misses (2 blocks) in last week’s game. Regardless of what happens, you can bet on this though, Jim and John Harbaugh will be the key.
[photo via Getty]