I think that this upcoming game will be tough, the toughest yet, but that's what we want, and that's why both teams are there. During the playoffs, while the teams we played deserved to be there and I respect them, none of those games concerned me very much. I just had a feeling about those games. Not that we could win, but that we would win. This feeling was not X's and O's. It was truly just a feeling. You could feel the energy of the team coupled with the fan base. You could cut it with a knife. It was so cool to see our team, and particularly Joe Flacco, once that limiting ball and chain known as Cam was taken off. The whole team had a "screw it" attitude, and I believe that the victories were more of a result of that energy, than just simple football. I guess we may have had a little luck too, and that helps, but I think that that energy, as crazy as it sounds, drew that luck to us. Maybe luck isn't even the right word.
In interviews with players along this great journey this season during the playoffs, they would be asked how they would pair up with their opponents, account for this or that, etc, and they would always say that they would stick to the fundamentals, do their jobs, stay in their assignments, and that's great. They seemed to have applied this, but they also seemed to go beyond it. There was an X factor, and that feeling that I'm talking about, was that X factor, and it's still here, stronger than ever. We made the "greatest" Quarterbacks flounder, The greatest corners, defensive backs, linebackers, receivers and running backs come up short on enough plays to win these games in spite of adversity. We said "screw it" even after two returns for touchdowns in the Denver game! We sent Peyton Manning and Tom Brady packing. Yes this was largely due to good football, but that X factor put these games away.
I don't think that the "experts" on Playbook are accounting for this X factor. Its not that they are not smart or don't now about it. It's just that you cant draw this out with virtual chalk on a diagram. This cannot be accounted for with tangible tools in a three dimensional world, because it exists somewhere beyond that realm. This X factor's genesis may be the Ray Lewis factor. That may very well be the seed that sprouted in this team at this time, but at this point, it's not the sum total of this X factor. Do you guys feel it? I know many of you must feel it. And if we are feeling it, I know the team feels it.
San Francisco is a really good team, and they can win this game. They even have some of this X factor in their own right. Colin is a cool QB, with a "lets get it done" attitude. I haven't really seen him get rattled. Their defense is tough, maybe the toughest yet for us. They have a great coach. It's in the genes. Apparently, it takes Baughs to get to the big game this year.
Does any of this concern me this season going into this game at this time? Nope. If we go with this feeling, with this "X factor" without deviation, without desperation during adversity, we will give ourselves the best chance to win. Can we lose? Yes. Will we lose? probably not as long as we stick with the feeling.
This is going to be a great game and I can't wait. I'll be cheering as I see us driving down the field, or blowing up one of their well designed plays, and I'll be respecting them the whole time. But as much as I'll be watching the plays on the field, I'll be watching the faces on our sideline, for the X factor.