Although they made a deeper playoff push a year ago, the 2013 season for the 49ers was far from a letdown. The team continued to improve each week, and heading into the off season know that they have a quarterback and defense that is going to make them contenders for years to come.
The Ravens came out of a three-game losing streak to make it to the big game in The Big Easy. December started off rough for the Ravens with consecutive losses to the Steelers, Redskins and Broncos. But as fate would have it, their lowest point became a turning point.
Joe Flacco outdueled Tom Brady, throwing three touchdown passes in the second half and leading the Baltimore Ravens to their first Super Bowl in 12 years with a 28-13 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday for the AFC championship.