What a ride it's been for the 49ers.
There have been some highs, including an opening-week road win over the Green bay Packers, a 41-34 victory over the New England Patriots and a 32-7 trouncing of the Chicago Bears at home, and some lows. They had the season's only tie against the St. Louis Rams and then lost to them three weeks later, while also having days to forget against the New York Giants (26-3) and Seattle Seahawks (42-13).
But San Francisco got their act together when it mattered most. The 49ers took care of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round and then went into Atlanta and escaped with a 28-24 triumph over the Falcons.
Let our 'Super Bowl Picks & Early predictions' article help you breakdown the opening odds.
Colin: Cool, Calm and Collected
Colin Kaepernick's rise to stardom has been quick but complete. He was handed the reigns of the team by John Harbaugh and hasn't looked back since.
Many critics questioned whether or not it was the right move to go with the young dual-threat quarterback over an experienced Alex Smith, but you've got to take risks sometimes and this one has turned out better than anyone could have known.
Kaepernick's true coming out party was against the Packers in the playoffs. He had 263 passing yards and two touchdown throws and then ran for 181 yards and two more scores in what was one of the best individual postseason performances you're ever going to see out of a quarterback. Green Bay had a miserable time coming to terms with Kaepernick and the read-option offense.
The Falcons did a much better job of corralling the QB, but that only allowed more holes to open up for Frank Gore in the running game. We're interested to see what kind of defensive schemes the Ravens come up with for this one.
The 49ers have looked susceptible defensively during the playoffs, but they've also had to face two of the most explosive offensive teams in Green Bay and Atlanta, two teams that are chalk full of stud playmakers.
Baltimore has Joe Flacco playing lights out and then Ray Rice and Anquan Boldin making plays, but it's hard to think this team isn't much easier to game-plan against than San Francisco's previous two opponents.
The fact of the matter is that the 49ers were much more consistent defensively throughout the season. They ranked third in total defense, while the Ravens were all the way down at #17.
Baltimore did well to drop 38 points against a good Denver defense, but they haven't had to contend with a defense like the one San Francisco possesses. The Ravens' other two opponents, Indianapolis and New England, are hardly known for their defensive prowess.
With top-tier talents like Justin Smith, Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith coming after him, Flacco will face a pass rush that he's not used to seeing, and that could very well result in some errant throws and poor decision-making
So there you have it: if Kaepernick holds up to the pressure and the 49ers defense, especially that frightening pass rush, comes to play, they'll have an excellent chance of beating Ray Lewis and company. It could be a tight match, but the odds makers have it right, and the 49ers are the team to back with your NFL picks on Super Bowl Sunday.
Right now the 49ers are favorites in the NFL odds to take home the Lombardi Trophy, but there's still plenty of time for the lines to move. Stay in the loop by checking back with SBRodds.com to see what kind of movement takes place. Plus, don't forget about our entertaining forums!