|Colin Kaepernick shakes the hand of Super Bowl XXXIV MVP Kurt Warner. Will Kaepernick get the prize? (US Presswire)|
Why he would win: Quarterbacks have won five of the last six Super Bowl MVPs and 25 of 47 overall (there were co-winners in 1978 for anyone counting up the total number of Super Bowls). He makes plays with his feet and his arm and is a natural story after supplanting Alex Smith as a starter midway through the season.
Why he wouldn't: He's started only nine games in his career and threw only 21 passes against Atlanta in the NFC Championship Game. He also rarely ran against the Falcons. He might not have the numbers to get the honor.
Why he would win: Receivers have taken the honor the three times quarterbacks have not won it in the last nine years. Crabtree, with more than twice as many catches and twice as many yards as any other San Francisco receiver, is the logical choice. If he is MVP, he probably will have taken a short pass and turn it into a long touchdown.
Why he wouldn't: He's not a big deep threat. His longest reception is 49 yards. If the Ravens don't miss tackles after the catch, he won't have the wow factor to earn the MVP.
3. Frank Gore
Why he would win: The 49ers figure to give him the ball early and often, and the last time the Ravens faced a read-option system, they struggled to slow down Washington's Alfred Morris. If Gore has 25 carries for 125 yards and a couple of scores, it will be hard to deny him.
Why he wouldn't: Football is a passing game. The last running back to win Super Bowl MVP was Denver's Terrell Davis in 1998. Gore's longest run against Atlanta was 11 yards. He doesn't take your breath away.
4. Vernon Davis
Why he would win: Davis could have a huge game If the Ravens employ the same plan as the Falcons, which was to forget he was on the field after his non-existent numbers under Kaepernick. Despite being a tight end, he averaged more yards per catch than Crabtree this year. He's capable of killing the Ravens.
Why he wouldn't: Other than his first game (Chicago) and his last game (Atlanta), he has a total of seven catches for 105 yards in seven games when Kaepernick starts. They haven't meshed yet.
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5. Aldon Smith
Why he would: The 49ers were known only for their defense before Kaepernick's emergence. If Kaepernick puts up modest numbers and Smith has, say, three sacks and a forced fumble, he becomes the favorite. He's capable after setting the NFL record for most sacks in a player's first two seasons.
Why he wouldn't: The only two defensive players to win MVP in the last 16 years were Ray Lewis in 2001 after the Ravens set an NFL record for fewest points allowed in a season, and safety Dexter Jackson of the offensively challenged Tampa Bay Bucs in 2003. The Ravens and 49ers likely will put up too many points for a defensive player to get it this time.