Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE
Neither the 49ers nor the Ravens have ever lost in the Super Bowl. That is going to change on Sunday.
The San Francisco 49ers are a perfect 5-0 in Super Bowls. The Baltimore Ravens are perfect in their only trip to the Super Bowl. But by Sunday night, one of those teams will have lost their undefeated record.
San Francisco won their first Super Bowl in 1982. They jumped out to a 20-0 halftime lead thanks to MVP Joe Montana and then held on late, edging the Cincinnati Bengals 26-21 to capture Super Bowl XVI. Three years later, Montana won another Super Bowl MVP right down the road at Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto, CA as the 49ers crushed the Miami Dolphins 38-16. In 1980, the 49ers found themselves matched up against the Bengals again, and once again San Francisco won a close game, 20-16, with Jerry Rice taking MVP honors. The following year, Montana won his last Super Bowl MVP as the 49ers crushed the Broncos, 55-10.
The 49ers' last Super Bowl win came in 1995, and it was their first Super Bowl without Montana, but San Francisco did not miss a beat with Steve Young at the left. The southpaw claimed MVP honors as the 49ers put a 49-26 beat down on the San Diego Chargers for their fifth Super Bowl title in as many Super Bowl appearances.
The Ravens don't have nearly as long or illustrious Super Bowl record, in large part because they didn't exist until 1996. The last time the 49ers won a Super Bowl, the Ravens didn't even exist, but that didn't keep Baltimore from getting to the big game and capturing a Super Bowl title.
Anchored by one of the best defenses in NFL history, the Ravens made their way to Super Bowl XXXV and in Tampa Bay, they showed exactly how good that defense was. They didn't allow a single offensive touchdown to the New York Giants, limiting them to just a kick return touchdown en route to a 34-7 win to deliver Baltimore the Super Bowl.
In that Super Bowl, Ray Lewis was named MVP. Now, he will close out his career back in the Super Bowl, trying to keep the Ravens and his Super Bowl record perfect. But the 49ers are trying to do the same. They may be undefeated now, but by Sunday night, only one of these teams' perfect Super Bowl records will be intact.