The San Francisco 49ers, from top to bottom, is considered to be the best team in the NFL. They are loaded defensively, the offense is solid, yet continues to peak, and their special teams are safe. Consequently, no matter how solid and secure a squad appears to be, they will need a few of their supporting cast members to step up to help make those who have the leading roles perform well.
The 49ers have five players, outside the obvious core, that will be needed to step in against the equally competitive opponent in the Baltimore Ravens for Super Bowl XLVII.
T Joe Staley
Staley will need to be extremely sharp in pass protection as he will face the best of Ravens’ defensive end Terrell Suggs, who has been recovering and improving from his Achilles’ injury, with a taste of Paul Kruger on the side, at times.
FB Bruce Miller
Miller must be ready to pick up the Ravens’ blitz packages to help protect quarterback Colin Keapernick on each passing down. In addition, he must be ready to hit linebacker Ray Lewis to clear a path for running backs Frank Gore and LaMichael James because number 52 will be in their way.
C Jonathan Godwin
The 11-year veteran will be the rock for Keapernick and the 49ers’ offense. Godwin will be expected to call another solid Super Bowl matchup as he help fashioned a brilliant offensive output to bring the Vince Lombardi trophy to New Orleans in 2009. He must continue to call out what he sees and keep his young quarterback settled.
TE Delanie Walker
Walker has been quiet during this postseason, in terms of making big offensive plays. His physicality and abilities will be needed more than ever before. Walker must be ready to chip block, block and catch. Walker must be prepared to make some big third down conversions.
K David Akers
The 38-year old veteran kicker has experienced his worse season as a pro during his 14-year career as he made just 29 out of 42 field goal attempts during the regular season. Due to the greatness of Akers, who experienced consistent, outstanding performances throughout his career including his NFL record setting season in 2011 where he nailed 44 field goals and scored 166 points, the left-footed kicker has been given more opportunities to improve during the year because of his presentation. The 49ers bought in kicker Billy Cundiff (formerly of the Ravens), but he was released prior to the NFC Championship game.
Akers missed a critical field goal attempt against the Atlanta Falcons in the conference title game that could have haunted the team in the offseason if they would have lost. Against the Ravens, Akers cannot afford a mistake because, unlike the Falcons, Baltimore will make them pay.
Be sure to stay tuned to FanSided.com throughout Super Sunday for the latest and most up to date Super Bowl XLVII coverage. For more San Francisco 49ers news, check out our 49ers website, Niner Noise. For more Baltimore Ravens news, check out our Ravens website, Ebony Bird.