NEW ORLEANS -- Baltimore outside linebacker Terrell Suggs had three of his team's nine sacks the last time they faced the 49ers. Yet, he recalled little of that having to do with poor play by 49ers left tackle Joe Staley.

In fact, Suggs said he had a "hard time" against Staley in the Ravens' 16-6 victory over the 49ers on Thanksgiving in 2011.

"He's a very good offensive tackle," Suggs said. "He's highly underrated, but he was a Pro Bowler this year, so he finally got his just due. ... He's a great player."

Suggs has been a great player in his own right. But this season, he played in only eight regular-season games as a result of Achilles and right biceps injuries and recorded only two sacks.

Staley isn't fooled by the stats.

"They are playing at a real high level right now," Staley said of the Ravens. "Having Suggs come back from the injury, you could see early on that he was not his normal self. He is really bringing it in the playoffs, really playing well for them. Getting back to normal Terrell Suggs style football -- physical, playing fast."

  • Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor and practice-squad member Dennis Dixon, a Bay Area native, imitated Colin Kaepernick's dual-threat style in practice last week. While neither can match Kaepernick's size or arm strength, both are threats with their legs and perfect fits for the read-option scheme the 49ers so often rely on.

    "It's something I did in college as far as the zone read," said Dixon. "The main thing about (Kaepernick) is he can throw the ball as well, and I'm trying to do the exact same thing practice. It's a chess match. Sometimes we're going to win and sometimes we're going to lose."

  • The most decorated Olympian of all-time, Michael Phelps, is in New Orleans to show support for his beloved Ravens.

    "I was in Paris for a swim meet," Phelps, a Baltimore native, said when asked if he recalled the first Ravens Super Bowl appearance in 2001. "We tried to set the alarm to wake up in the night, but we slept through it."

    Phelps predicted a seven-point Ravens victory.