As we watch to tonight’s game unfold, there will be many stories to watch. In what should be an extremely evenly matched affair, one of the biggest mysteries is who could take home MVP honors? Surprising there are many options to choose from on both sides, though some of the more likely options may surprise you.
Let’s take a look at who the best candidates are to take home the MVP Award later tonight:
Honorable Mention – Ed Reed – Safety – Baltimore Ravens
There have been only seven defensive players to win Super Bowl MVP (and one special teams player), so you obviously have to do something extremely special. While Ray Lewis may be the sentimental choice for some (and is actually one of the few defensive players who have won the award), it’s hard to imagine. Reed, on the other hand, could be in the position to be a surprising choice. Would it surprise anyone if he picked up an interception or two over the course of the game? If he does that, including taking one to the house, then he could position himself to win the award.
5) Torrey Smith - Wide Receiver – Baltimore Ravens
Ray Rice is supposed to be the feature of the offense, but taking on one of the elite rushing defenses in the league it is hard to expect much. Anquan Boldin has been better than expected in the playoffs, but he hasn’t had a completion of more than 26 yards over the past two games. While Smith is the epitome of an “all or nothing” player, he is the team’s big-play receiver and that may be what it takes to bring home the MVP award.
4) Michael Crabtree – San Francisco 49ers – Wide Receiver
While Vernon Davis was the 49ers go to receiver in the Conference Championship game (5 receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown), the Baltimore Ravens were among the best defenses against tight ends in 2012. They allowed just 32 receptions for 815 yards and two touchdowns, so Davis is out. That means, unless we want to believe Randy Moss is going to all of a sudden become a threat, Crabtree is going to be the man catching the football. That really wouldn’t be a surprise, would it? He was a beast over the final five games of the season, with three games over 100 receiving yards (and four of 90+). He also had a pair of two touchdown games over the final three weeks.
3) Frank Gore – San Francisco 49ers – Running Back
No running back has won the MVP Award since 1998, so going in expecting one of the feature backs to do the job is hard. That said, while Michael Crabtree may have been the biggest benefactor from the emergence of Colin Kaepernick, Gore is a very close second. With defenses unable to simply focus on stopping the running game, Gore has inflicted significant damage. In his two playoff games he has carried the load, rushing for 209 yards and three touchdowns. All it may take is a two score game (the Ravens allowed 15 rushing touchdowns during the regular season), and Gore has a shot.
2) Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – Quarterback
Can he possibly continue what has been a near perfect postseason? In three games he has thrown for 853 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions. It is just impossible to ask for anything more than that from any quarterback. While the 49ers are going to be a tougher test defensively, if anyone is going to lead the Ravens to victory it is going to be their QB.
1) Colin Kaepernick – San Francisco 49ers – Quarterback
Quarterbacks have won MVP honors in five of the past six Super Bowls, so seeing the two quarterbacks 1-2 should not be a surprise. So why is Kaepernick the better choice? He’s just the more dynamic player, capable of beating defenses both with his feet or through the air. He proved that in the Divisional Playoffs (181 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while also throwing for 263 yards, two touchdowns and an interception). He just brings a skill set that is unmatched and, if he puts it all on display, there is going to be little doubt.
What are your thoughts of the potential Super Bowl MVPs? Who do you think has the best chance to win? Who do you think I left off the list?
Make sure to check out our other Super Bowl rankings:
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