In an era of high-powered offense in the NFL, the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers both bring hard-hitting defense to next Sunday's Super Bowl.
Second-half shutouts — and injured opponents — in the conference title games are the latest reminder that defense still matters.
The 49ers' defense ranked third this season in points allowed at 15.5. The Ravens gave up 20, but were missing Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs for stretches.
The Ravens were whistled for a league-high 19 personal fouls and penalized more yards overall than anyone else. The 49ers tied for fourth with 15 personal fouls and ranked fifth in penalty yardage.
Says Ravens cornerback Cary Williams: "It's in our DNA. We don't bring in guys that's timid. We don't bring in guys that's not going to hit."