G and I are making the long drive up to Lyle’s tomorrow morning to watch the 49ers in the Super Bowl. I’m Super Excited. I’m actually rewatching the NFC Final game between the Niners and the Falcons and wanted to jot down some thoughts.

Some fun facts:

  1. The 49ers have never lost a Super Bowl.
  2. The 49ers are 5-0 in Super Bowls, and should they win tomorrow, they will be tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most Super Bowl wins in NFL history.
  3. This is the first time in history that the two opposing coaches in the Super Bowl are brothers.

Last year on Thanksgiving day, the Ravens beat the Niners 16-6. I don’t expect tomorrow’s game to look a damned thing like that. This will be an incredibly different game for a variety of reasons:

  1. Colin Kaepernick.

No, seriously. He’s it.

OK, maybe there will be some benefit for the Niners to NOT playing in Baltimore. Maybe the big stage will cause the Niners to perform at an even higher level than in the playoffs. Maybe the fact that the entire nation is rooting for them save some small slivers of the east coast will give them the edge they need. There are a couple of new faces in the mix from last year, such as Randy Moss for spreading the defense and LaMichael James to share the load with Gore and present an outside threat to the defense. We still have 6 pro bowlers on defense (and the Ravens had a hard time with the Niners defense last year at home).

All that said, I am going on record that Colin Kapernick is the main reason that tomorrow’s game will look nothing like last year’s Turkey Day beating.

In this year’s playoffs, when Green Bay thought they had the rest of the offense covered, Kaep ran all over their faces. When Atlanta prepared and successfully bottled up Kaepernick’s running game, he made it happen through the air, then took advantage of some aerial success to paralyze the opposing defense with some killer misdirection in the running game. The Atlanta defense was so concerned about the Kapernick run that Gore and James were getting an extra step before defenders reacted.

Finally, Kaep is mentally tougher than Alex Smith has been. His ability to perform at a high level despite pressure, mistakes, and big score deficits cannot be overstated. He is willing to step up and make a big play when it has to happen, whether it’s a big push upfield with his rocket launcher arm, or a mad scramble when protection breaks down. Alex Smith is a good quarterback, but Colin Kaepernick is on this whole other level.

The Niners have a complete championship-capable team now, and THEY ARE IN THE SUPER BOWL for the first time in almost two decades. Let’s go Niners!!