02/03/2013 10:20 AM
SUPER BOWL (MIS)MATCHUPS
Ravens’ oh-so special teams vs. Niners’ not-so special teams
The biggest chink in the 49ers' armor this season is their special teams. San Francisco was second worst in the NFL in kick return coverage, giving up 26.9 yards per kickoff. The Niners didn’t take any chances last week, recording five touchbacks on five kickoffs. The Ravens return team was tops in the NFL in average return yards, picking up 27.3 yards per kickoff and returned two kicks for scores, both from speedster Jacoby Jones.
On top of that, Baltimore boasts the steady leg of rookie Justin Tucker, who connected on 32 of his 35 field goal attempts and is perfect on extra points. He’s hit both FG attempts in the postseason so far, which is more than 49ers kicker David Akers can say. Akers has been shaky all season (29 for 42 FGA) and “donged” a 38-yard attempt off the left upright versus Atlanta two weeks ago. San Francisco may roll the dice on fourth down instead of sending out Akers for the long FG shot Sunday.