What's Buzzing:

Brother vs. brother: John Harbaugh's Ravens beat Pats for Super Bowl date vs. Jim Harbaugh's 49ers

Dan Wetzel
Yahoo Sports

View gallery


John Harbaugh is moving on to the Super Bowl, much to Bill Belichick's chagrin on Sunday. (Reuters)

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – John and Jim Harbaugh grew up around coaching. Playing. Watching. Coaching, moving around America every few years as their father, Jack, picked up assistant coaching jobs. They learned to splice film early. Knew the importance of game plans and motivation. And, like so many sons and daughters, decided eventually to get into the family business.

Now here comes the first brother vs. brother coaching matchup in Super Bowl history.

John's Baltimore Ravens dismantled New England 28-13 here Sunday night. Just hours earlier, Jim's San Francisco 49ers outlasted Atlanta 28-24. Their two teams will meet Feb. 3 in New Orleans for the NFL championship.

[Slideshow: Ravens top Pats to set up Harbaugh Bowl]

It will be the pinnacle for America's first coaching family. John is 15 months the elder and is a coaching lifer. Jim enjoyed a 15-year NFL career as a quarterback before becoming a head coach in the college ranks at the University of San Diego and Stanford.

View gallery


Joe Flacco threw three touchdowns in the AFC title game to help the Ravens reach the Super Bowl. (AP)

"[I'm] overcome with extreme pride for both of them," younger sister Joani Crean told Yahoo! Sports. "[I] can't describe my feelings beyond that. I have two incredible brothers."

About the only downside for parents Jack and Jackie: one of their sons has to lose.

For at least one Raven, it was about vengeance. After the game linebacker Terrell Suggs pointed to the motivation of defeating the hated Patriots, who had won last year's AFC title game over Baltimore.

"Tell them to have fun at the Pro Bowl," Suggs said. "Shut them out in the second half. Arrogant [expletive]. These are the most arrogant pricks in the world starting with [coach Bill] Belichick on down."

Sunday was the ultimate for two coaches to reach the Super Bowl, two hard-fought road wins that required second-half comebacks, each shutting out the home team in the final two quarters. 

[Related: Ray Lewis gets emotional during national anthem]

Here in New England, the Ravens' defense helped force Tom Brady (29-for-54 for 320 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions) into a poor, by his standards, effort. The Pats watched drive after drive stall just outside field-goal range as Belichick went uncharacteristically conservative on fourth down.

It means that the emotional final playoff run of legendary linebacker Ray Lewis will continue as he returns to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2000, when he was the game's MVP. It is also the first appearance of fellow future Hall of Famer Ed Reed, the team's ball-hawk safety.

It was a defensive performance that will be hailed for decades in Maryland. Baltimore was able to mostly contain New England's offense, clearly missing injured tight end Rob Gronkowski, to short-yard plays. The Patriots showed little explosion.

[Related: NaVorro Bowman's defensive play sends 49ers to Super Bowl]

Meanwhile, oft-questioned quarterback Joe Flacco continued a strong playoff run by heating up and shredding the Patriots' secondary that was rattled by the early loss of shutdown cornerback Aqib Talib to a thigh injury. Flacco defeated not just Brady but Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck this postseason.

Flacco finished the game hitting 21 of 36 passes for 240 yards and three touchdowns. He was particularly strong in the second half, leading three touchdown drives to overcome a 13-7 halftime deficit.

As for the hoopla over two brothers facing each other for the Super Bowl, John Harbaugh already wants no part of the storyline.

"Let's cut that out right now," Harbaugh said in the postgame media conference. "We did that last year. It got old last year, did it not?"

Related NFL video from Yahoo! Sports:

Other AFC/NFC title game content on Yahoo! Sports:

Colin Kaepernick has brains to match Jim Harbaugh's guts
Ray Lewis has rare chance to go out on top
Sore loser? Bill Belichick stiffs CBS interviewer, draws Shannon Sharpe's ire
Bernard Pollard delivers another devastating hit on Patriots

View Comments (2823)
  • Player, assistant, head coach: Zidane wins every which way

    Player, assistant, head coach: Zidane wins every which way

    Already one of the greatest players in the history of football, it turns out Zinedine Zidane makes the right moves on the touchline, too. Less than five months after taking over a squad in disarray under Rafa Benitez, Zidane has brought Real Madrid … More »

    AP - Sports - 7 minutes ago
  • Gatlin wins 100 metre, DeGrasse finishes 8th at Prefontaine Classic

    Gatlin wins 100 metre, DeGrasse finishes 8th at Prefontaine Classic

    Canadian sprinter Andre DeGrasse finished eighth in the 100 metres Saturday in the Diamond League's Prefontaine Classic. American Justin Gatlin won the event in 9.88 seconds at Hayward Field. Jamaica's Asafa Powell was second in 9.94, and American … More »

    The Canadian Press - 13 minutes ago
  • Royals win with 7-run 9th but Perez hurt

    Royals win with 7-run 9th but Perez hurt

    Brett Eibner wondered whether anything could surpass the Kansas City Royals' rally Friday night, when they overcome a four-run deficit to beat the Chicago White Sox in his major league debut. Eibner singled to cap the biggest ninth-inning comeback … More »

    AP - Sports - 17 minutes ago
  • Pelicans' Dejean-Jones fatally shot

    Pelicans' Dejean-Jones fatally shot

    New Orleans Pelicans guard Bryce Dejean-Jones was fatally shot after breaking down the door to a Dallas apartment, authorities said Saturday. A man living at the apartment was sleeping when he heard his front door kicked open, Dallas Police Senior … More »

    AP - Sports - 18 minutes ago
  • Mets find help at first base, get Loney in trade with Padres

    Mets find help at first base, get Loney in trade with Padres

    The Mets have found help at first base following Lucas Duda's injury, acquiring veteran James Loney from the San Diego Padres for cash. Always a fine fielder, the 32-year-old Loney hit .280 with four homers, 16 doubles and 32 RBIs in 104 games with … More »

    AP - Sports - 20 minutes ago