NEW ORLEANS — It's not uncommon to hear players sing the praises of the 49ers after playing them for the first time since coach Jim Harbaugh took the reins.

The Baltimore Ravens have the benefit of having played the 49ers in 2011, when teams around the league were getting their first taste of Harbaugh's tough, physical brand of football.

"The one carryover is that we found out what type of football team they are," Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said. "They're a physical football team. They play hard, they fast.

"We came out of that game on Thanksgiving (in 2011) and you could tell what kind of football game that was, with the physicality and all that stuff."

Flacco said he expects nothing less than an all-out struggle Sunday, when the Ravens and 49ers square off once again, this time in the Super Bowl.

"We definitely know what to expect from that standpoint. We're not going to be surprised when they come out here and they're hitting hard and they're flying around.

"We know that they're a team that's going to play a full 60 minutes and play a hard football game. So, we have to be ready to do the same."

The Ravens beat the 49ers 16-6 in 2011 in a game in which the two teams combined for 423 yards offense.

The 49ers held running back Ray Rice to 59 yards on 21 carries and the Ravens to 92 on 35 rushes.