ESPN may take some hits for slacking in the journalism department, and for generally being an unlikable company, but it still houses some of the best analysts in the business. Each network has it’s strength when it comes to who’s giving analysis, but between Chris Berman, Mike Ditka, Chris Mortensen, John Clayton and various others, ESPN houses some serious talent when it comes to talking about football.
[RELATED: CBS Sports Super Bowl XLVII Expert Picks]
So, naturally, on the day of the biggest game of the season we all want to know what these ‘experts’ of the game think about what the outcome will be when Super Bowl XLVII is all said and done.
Chris Berman: Ravens 27, 49ers 26
Comments: “Two teams that won’t take no for an answer. This will be a Super Bowl that we’ll be talking about decades from now.”
Tom Jackson: 49ers 24, Ravens 21
Comments: “In the critical area — the front line on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball — I think the 49ers have an edge.”
Mike Ditka: 49ers 28, Ravens 24
Comments: “I like what Jim [Harbaugh] has done and how he’s built the team. If the 49ers do not get a pass rush, they will be in trouble but they have found a way to get it done all season.”
Jon Gruden: Ravens 23, 49ers 20
Comments: If this really is Ray Lewis’ last game, how can I pick it any other way?”
Steve Young: 49ers 31, Ravens 17
Comments: “The offensive line is as good as in two generations. They are the best team in the league getting off the bus and they are playing very well.”
Trent Dilfer: 49ers 31, Ravens 23
Comments: “As conflicted as I am having to pick between two of my former teams . . . Both move the ball. The Pistol [offense] allows the Niners to punch it in, while the Ravens are stuck kicking field goals.”
Colin Cowherd: Ravens 26, 49ers 22
Comments: “I expect Colin Kaepernick to make a mistake late. There’s a big difference between playoff games and the Super Bowl. There’s just more pressure and Flacco has been in so many big games. Let’s be honest . . .Kaepernick has made mistakes in big spots, but the team has overcome them.”
John Clayton: 49ers 28, Ravens 24
Comments: “With power football in vogue in this Super Bowl, the 49ers will overpower the Ravens at the end. The 49ers are deep in talent and focused, but it still wouldn’t surprise me if they need overtime to get the win.”
Chris Mortensen: 49ers 31, Ravens 23
Comments: “Colin Kaepernick’s composure has been the biggest surprise for me this postseason, and I don’t think he’s going to lose it on the NFL’s biggest stage.”
Adam Schefter: 49ers 17, Ravens 14
Comments: “Two throwback teams playing a throwback game in which two undrafted free agent kickers, David Akers and Justin Tucker, could decide the world championship.”
Unlike the CBS squad, the four letter network known as the Mothership is a bit more divided when it comes to who they think will win in New Orleans. Obviously Steve Young is going with the 49ers, but it seems as though many are following his line of thinking. Some notables picking the Ravens include Chris Berman, Hannah Storm, both Mike & Mike and Ron Jaworski.