Harbaugh brothers take rivalry to Super Bowl

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 January, 2013, 1:00pm
UPDATED : Monday, 21 January, 2013, 2:39pm

This year’s Super Bowl will lift sibling rivalry to stratospheric levels as John Harbaugh coaches the Baltimore Ravens against a San Francisco 49ers team led by his younger brother Jim.

San Francisco pulled off the biggest-ever comeback in an NFC championship game, coming from 17-0 behind to beat the Atlanta Falcons 28-24, with Frank Gore running for a pair of second-half touchdowns.

The Baltimore Ravens also had to come from behind at half-time as they beat the New England Patriots 28-13. Baltimore is back in the Super Bowl for the first time since 2001.

While there are plenty of interesting Super Bowl plot lines involving the players – from retiring Ravens great Ray Lewis to the sudden emergence of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick – the sibling angle will make this coaching match-up the most scrutinised in the nearly half-century of Super Sundays.

The 49ers will be trying to join Pittsburgh as the only team with six Super Bowl championships, and trying to start a new era to build on the powerful 1980s and 1990s teams led by quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young.

“It will be a great football game,” said John Harbaugh, after the Ravens victory. “Two great teams squaring off, I can’t wait.”

Sunday’s victory came a year after San Francisco narrowly lost an overtime thriller to the New York Giants in the NFC decider.

The 49ers comeback set a new NFC mark. The previous biggest fightback was Atlanta’s rally from 13 points down to beat Minnesota in 1999. In the AFC, the record is 18 points, when Indianapolis rallied past New England in 2007.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse