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Super Bowl XLVII rematch looms, as potential elimination game

Three years ago, the season ended with the Ravens and 49ers battling it out in the Super Bowl. Next Sunday, they’ll square off at the site of this year’s Super Bowl, and the stakes will be similar for the team that loses.

Because the team that loses will essentially be done.

Through five weeks, the Ravens and 49ers are each 1-4. Whoever loses next Sunday will drop to 1-5, making it difficult if not impossible to climb to the postseason.

The winner may not be in much better shape, unless the victory becomes the first in the kind of streak that would continue. Neither team has shown much to make anyone believe that they can reel off 10 or 11 wins the rest of the way, despite the unbridled optimism of Colin Kaepernick.

Adding to the drama will be the first attempt by John Harbaugh to get back at the team that pushed out his brother, Jim.