Super Bowl XLVII: Wide Receiver Comparisons

Patrick Smith

Taking a look at the wide receivers on the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers to see how they match up.

When Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco and San Francisco 49ers QB drop back to pass, which Super Bowl 47 QB has the better players at the two main wide receiver positions? The combined numbers are pretty close but let's take a look at the four main guys and their statistics.

The Baltimore Ravens have Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith as Flacco's two biggest wideout targets. In the 2012 regular season, "Q" caught a team-high 65 passes for 921 yards (14.2 average), the longest being 43 yards, and four touchdowns. Boldin added 16 more receptions in the three post season games, for 276 yards and three more touchdown passes, including two huge ones in the Ravens 28-13 win over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.

Smith caught 49 balls in the regular season for 855 yards but it was his 17.4 yards per catch average, 2nd most in the NFL among wide receivers who caught at least 40 passes. His longest reception was 54 yards and he was on the receiving end of eight Joe Flacco TD passes. Torrey added nine more catches for 198 yards, an incredible average of 22 yards per catch and two more TDs.

On the 49ers side, between quarterbacks Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick, WR Michael Crabtree was the favorite target, catching 85 passes for 1,185 yards (13.0 average) a long of 49 yards and nine TD receptions. Crabtree added 15 more catches in San Francisco's two playoff games, for 176 yards (11.7 avg.) and two more TD's.

Veteran Randy Moss took over as the second option after the loss of WR Mario Manningham (42 catches) for the season due to injury. Moss had 28 receptions for 434 yards (15.5 avg.), a long catch of 55 yards and three TDs. Randy added five more catches for 71 yards (14.2 avg.) in the post season, but none for touchdowns.

Boldin would be best compared to Crabtree as big, strong possession receivers, while Smith and Moss would draw comparisons as the downfield deep threats. The interesting comparison that makes it tough to firmly put one group above the other is that the Ravens duo caught 114 passes for 1,776 yards and 12 TD's while the 49ers pair caught 113 passes for 1,539 yards and also 12 TD passes.

While one of these four could be the one who stand out among the other three, it will most likely come down to the quarterback that gets the ball to them in the first place.

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