One-on-One: Which team has a stronger future?

Ravens

When will people start believing the hype? The Baltimore Ravens have been among the top teams in the NFL in the past, and with this Super Bowl experience, may become a dynasty.

People are starting to finally recognize that Joe Flacco is an elite quarterback. He may not put up the stats of Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, but Flacco knows how to win games. He’s the only quarterback in NFL history to win a playoff game in each of his first five seasons.

Add in Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, Dennis Pitta and a fairly young offensive line, and you have the solid core of an offense that’s going to score a lot of points in the future.

Although Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, two of the most dominant defensive players for the past decade, probably won’t return next season, the Ravens still have a strong core to terrorize an opponent’s offense.

Haloti Ngata and Terrell Suggs will be chasing around quarterbacks for the next five years. In the secondary, Lardarius Webb will return from injury to pair up with Corey Graham and Cary Williams, who have excelled in the postseason.

Sure, the Ravens may not have the defense they once were known for. But when you have an elite quarterback, you can expect to see the Ravens back in the Super Bowl again.

-Bobby Nightengale

 

49ers

The Superbowl is an exciting matchup, as two teams that typically rely on defense will rely on their offense to help hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

So who has a better shot to make it back to one more or even multiple Superbowls?

The answer should be obvious: the San Francisco 49ers.

First and foremost, the 49ers’ defense is currently better than the Ravens and much younger. Terrell Suggs, Ed Reed, Haloti Ngata and Ray Lewis, generally considered the four best players on the Ravens defense, are all at least 29 years old with Lewis set to retire.

The result being that an already terrifying 49ers defense could actually get better over the next few years. In fact, it would surprise most fans if it did not improve.

On the offensive side of the football, both teams have enviable problems to deal with. The Ravens have to pay Joe Flacco, but with a stellar postseason thus far they may be locking up a franchise quarterback.

As good as Flacco has been, he has nowhere near as much upside as Colin Kaepernick.

Both quarterbacks have good weapons to work with, but Kaepernick is much more than just a pocket passer.

The safe bet for multiple returns to the Super Bowl has to be San Francisco.

-David Israel