In what started out as a blowout, followed by a 34 minute power outage delay came another electrifying Super Bowl with a crazy finish.
The Ravens led shortly after the third quarter 28-6 and looked to have the game in hand until a power outage in the Superdome caused a 34 minute delay and swung the momentum in the 49ers favor, who mounted an amazing comeback. But the Ravens would make a final goal line stand to hang on to become Super Bowl XLVII Champions with a 34-31 win.
The Ravens are now 2-0 in Super Bowls while the 49ers suffered their first Super Bowl defeat, now 5-1 in Super Bowls.
This Super Bowl featured so many storylines its almost fitting the game played out the way it did.
It was the battle of two brothers, John Harbaugh getting the best of his younger brother Jim, only 15 months apart and three points away from victory and defeat, making the end of the game very emotional.
“It was really hard. The end of the game was the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced,” John Harbaugh said.
The Super Bowl victory gives future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis a proper send off after 17 seasons as he stated before the post-season that he will retire after this season. The Ravens channeled his energy and passion to get hot at the right time and rode that emotion to a Super Bowl victory.
“Everything, the world, life now,” said Lewis when asked what was next. “My family, my sons, they really sacrificed for me, now I get the opportunity to sacrifice for them. To see their faces, to hear their comments, and know what’s in their hearts. Everything is coming now. The only thing that ends is football. Life really begins for Ray Lewis now.”
Ray Lewis has now passed the torch to Joe Flacco as the new leader of the Ravens franchise.
Joe Flacco had a lights-out performance of his own, going 22-of-33 for 287-yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions to become the Super Bowl MVP.
“It’s unbelievable” said Flacco. “Great group of guys, and just a great way to win it tonight. I don’t think it has sunk in yet, so I’m trying to go through the motions and see what it brings. But you know it’s a great group of guys we have in that locker room and unbelievable to win it with them”.
After the 49ers punted their opening possession, Joe Flacco drove the Ravens down the field, going 3-for-4 for 41 yards, hitting Anquan Boldin in the end zone for a 13-yard score to take a 7-0 lead.
Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers offense started to get a drive going but they were sacked in the red zone and were forced to kick a David Akers field goal to cut the lead to 7-3.
On that drive Ed Reed delivered a big hit on Vernon Davis and was shaken up and taken to the locker room and was able to return to the game shortly after.
On 3rd & 7, with 1:31 left in the 1st quarter, Flacco was flushed out of the pocket, rolled to his right and threw the ball what looked at first to be out of bounce but Boldin came in from out of nowhere to make a beautiful sideline catch for 31-yards. But the drive stalled when Flacco was sacked by Ray McDonald and Aldon Smth and were forced to punt.
On the 49ers next possession LaMichael James fumbled the ball and was recovered by the Ravens. Flacco connected with Dennis Pitta for the second time of the drive for a 1-yard touchdown pass in the end zone to go up 14-3.
On the first play of the 49ers next drive following the touchdown, Kaepernick throw the ball downfield and was intercepted by Ed Reed.
The Ravens drive sputtered and looked to kick a field goal, but the Ravens ran a trick play, with a direct snap to Ravens kicker Justin Tucker who tried to run for the first down but came up one yard short. The 49ers were unable to get anything going on offense and quickly went three and out.
Flacco threw a bomb to receiver Jacoby Jones who fell to the ground, got up untouched and ran into the end zone for the touchdown to extend the lead 21-3 with 1:45 remaining.
Kaepernick finally got the offense clicking and were racing towards the end zone but panicked on third down and fell to the ground instead of throwing the ball in the end zone or trying to run it. David Kickers kicked a 27-yard field goal to go into halftime trailing 21-6.
After Beyonce gave a lights out performance the second half of the Super Bowl would feature two back-to-back historic moments in Super Bowl history.
The Ravens Jacoby Jones returned the opening kickoff to start the second half a Super Bowl record 109-yards. The Ravens extended the lead 28-6 and the game looked to be all but in hand and the Ravens had all the momentum.
And then when the 49ers had the ball on 3rd & 13 with 13:22 remaining in the third quarter, the lights in the Superdome went out due to a power outage that caused a 34 minute delay.
When play finally resumed it almost seemed to be a tale of two different Super Bowls.
The 49ers would come back from being down a 22-point deficit.
The Niners would punt after play resumed but their defense held and got the ball back. Kaepernick and the offense finally got red hot. On 1st & 10 with 7:28 left in the third quarter, Kaepernick dropped back and hit Michael Crabtree at the 15-yard line who got sandwiched between two Ravens defenders and bounced off both and raced into the end zone for the score on a 31-yard reception to make it 28-13.
Michael Crabtree had 6 catches for 108 receiving yards and a touchdown.
On the Ravens next possession the 49ers defense came up big with a sack on 3rd & 10 and forced the Ravens to punt from their own end zone. Ravens punter Sam Koch shanked the punt off his right foot; the punt was fielded by Ten Ginn Jr. at the 50-yard line who went all the way across the field to the right side all the way down to the 20-yard line.
With the Niners having 1st & goal Kaepernick handed off to Frank Gore on a read-counter to the right and took it into the end zone for a touchdown untouched to close the gap to 28-20.
Frank Gore rushed for 110-yards and a touchdown on 19 carries
The 49ers momentum continued as on 2nd & 7, Flacco threw to Ray Rice out of the backfield and Tarell Brown forced the fumble and recovered it to put the 49ers in scoring territory once again.
The Ravens defense seemed to hold and forced the 49ers into a 39-yard field goal attempt, David Akers would miss the kick wide left and the Ravens appeared to dodge a bullet. But the Ravens were called for running into the kicker and Akers made the most of his second chance, converting on a 34-yard field goal to make it 28-23.
Flacco finally had a chance to answer back on their next drive converting big third down pass plays to Anquan Boldin and rookie running back Bernard Pierce also converting a big third down play. Pierce appeared injured on the drive, went into the locker room and later returned to the game. The 49ers held tight on the goal line and the Ravens had to settle for a 19-yard field goal by Justin Tucker to make it 31-23.
When the 49ers got the ball back Kaepernick hit Randy Moss for a big 32-yard gain. On the next play Frank Gore took a handoff up the middle and bounced it outside for a 21-yard pick-up. With the Ravens defense getting tired on 2nd & 7 Kaepernick got flushed out of the pocket, rolled to his left and ran it into the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown to make it 29-31 but failed to tie the game on the 2-point conversation.
The Ravens offense would put one final drive together to seal the game but only managed a 38-yard field goal to make it 34-29 with 4:19 remaining in the game.
Kaepernick trying to work the magic of the ghost of 49ers quarterbacks past missed a wide-open Vernon Davis down the sideline that would have put them in great field position. But on 2nd & 10 he hit Michael Crabtree with a rocket pass down the middle of the field for 24-yard play. Then Frank Gore once again, took the handoff on the read-option up the middle, bounced it outside to the left for a massive 33-yard gain. Kaepernick’s pass fell incomplete on 2nd down, the 49ers called timeout to avoid a delay of game penalty on 3rd down and when they resumed play on 3rd down the pass once again fell incomplete when Crabtree could not hang on to the ball even though he would have been well short of the end zone. The 49ers did not call any run plays with Kaepernick.
The outcome of the game now comes down to the 49ers making a play on offense or the Ravens defense making one final goal line stand.
4th & goal with 1:50 remaining, Kaepernick takes the snap out of the pistol, and threw it up in the air as the Ravens brought the pressure but Crabtree could not get to it.
“I felt like our guys battled and competed.” said Jim Harbaugh. “We battled back to get in it and then battled right to the brink of winning it.”
The Ravens would hang on to win the game, adding an intentional safety to make the final score 34-31.
“The final series of Ray Lewis’ career was a goal-line stand,” Harbaugh said.
Ray Lewis reflecting on his last game with his teammates said it was no better way to end it.
“It’s no greater way, as a champ, to go out on your last ride with the men that I went out with, with my teammates,” Lewis said. “And you looked around this stadium and Baltimore! Baltimore! We coming home, baby! We did it!”
In the end, it became yet another memorable Super Bowl for the ages, giving players and fans everything one could hope for in a Super Bowl and more.
- With the power outage delay, it became the longest Super Bowl in history, reaching 4 hours, 14 minutes.
- This was the 10th time the City of New Orleans hosted a Super Bowl, tying the City of Miami for the most and it was the first Super Bowl in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina.
- The Ravens became the fifth team to win their first two Super Bowl appearances, joining the 49ers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers and New York Giants. They snapped a four-game win streak by the NFC in Super Bowls, becoming the first AFC team to win one since the 2008 Steelers.
- Colin Kaepernick’s 15-yard touchdown run by a quarterback is a new Super Bowl record, previously held by Joe Montana’s 6-yard touchdown run.
- The Ravens are 8-1 all-time as a No. 4 seed in the Super Bowl. Both of their Super Bowl wins came as a No. 4 seed, with the other coming in the 2000 season.
- Joe Flacco finished the post-season with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. The only quarterback to match those post-season numbers was Joe Montana in 1989.
- The 49ers 31 points tied the most by a losing team in a Super Bowl, matching the total scored by the Dallas Cowboys against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XIII.
- The win was Joe Flacco’s ninth in postseason, matching Tom Brady for the most playoff wins by a quarterback in his first five seasons. Flacco joins Eli Manning as the only quarterbacks in postseason history to win seven games on the road or at neutral sites
- Colin Kaepernick also just missed out on Steve McNair‘s Super Bowl record for rushing yards by a quarterback. He finished with 62, two shy of the mark.
- This was the second kickoff return for a touchdown in the Superdome. Desmond Howard had the other for the 1996 Green Bay Packers, a 99-yarder against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI that stood as the record for the longest Super Bowl kickoff-return touchdown until Jones’ score.
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