words // Brandon Richard
A journey that started in September came to its end on Sunday night. It was Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh. It was Ray Lewis’ final game. It was a rookie quarterback attempting to do the impossible. In the end, it was the Baltimore Ravens who stood alone, beating the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in Super Bowl XLVII.
Super Bowl XLVII can essentially be broken down into two parts; pre-power outage and post-power outage. With a little more than 13 minutes left to play in the third quarter, the Superdome went dark and play was suspended for 34 minutes. Prior to the outage, sheer Baltimore dominance.
The Ravens jumped out to an early 21-3 advantage, starting with a 13-yard Joe Flacco touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin in the first quarter. Flacco threw two more TD passes in the second quarter, including a 56-yard bomb to Jacoby Jones, who made a highlight reel spin move to find paydirt. Two David Akers field goals were all the 49ers could manage and Baltimore went into halftime the big lead.
Then, more of the same when play resumed after Beyonce’s much talked about halftime performance. Jacoby Jones received the opening kickoff and broke free for a 108-yard touchdown return, putting Baltimore ahead 28-6. Things were clicking on all cylinders for the Ravens — then came the blackout.
After more than a half hour of inactivity, the 49ers returned to the field focused and Baltimore’s momentum was stalled. San Francisco rolled off 17 straight points to close out the third quarter, highlighted by Colin Kaepernick’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree. Frank Gore also punched in a run to help the 9ers climb within 5 points entering the final quarter.
The two teams battled back and forth in the final frame, Baltimore striking first with a 19-yard Justin Tucker field goal. However, Kaepernick responded by capping off a 5-play drive with a 15-yard touchdown run, but the 49ers failed the potential game-tying two-point conversion. Tucker connected again later in the quarter, successfully booting a 38-yarder that sealed a nearly six minute drive. Baltimore led 34-29 and Kaepernick had a little more than 4 minutes to go to work.
As they had for most of the second half, the 49ers steadily moved the ball down the field. A 33-yard Gore run set San Francisco up with 1st and goal on the Baltimore 7 with 2:40 to play. Then, as they have for years, the Ravens defense answered the call. Four 9ers plays, four Ravens stops, all but wrapping up the team’s second Super Bowl victory.
There’d be no late game heroics — Baltimore’s eruption in the first half explosion was enough to outlast the 49ers…and faulty electricity. They are your Super Bowl Champions. With 287 yards and 3 touchdowns, Flacco took home MVP honors.
images courtesy of Yahoo
Joe Flacco rolls out to pass in the Nike Lunar Superbad Pro.
Vernon Davis runs after making a catch in the Nitro III Under Armour football cleats.
Torrey Smith makes a catch in the upcoming Nitro Icon Low Under Armour football cleats.
Michael Crabtree catches a pass in PE Retro 9 Jordan football cleats.
Ed Reed picks off a pass in Nitro III Under Armour football cleats.
Colin Kaepernick finds paydirt in the Nike Vapor Talon Elite 3/4.
Ray Rice dodges a tackle in the Nike Lunar Superbad Pro.
Jacoby Jones returns a 108-yard kickoff for a touchdown in the Nike Vapor Talon Elite Low.
Frank Gore stiff arms a defender in the adidas adizero 5-Star.
Anquan Boldin makes a touchdown catch in Nitro II Under Armour football cleats.
Bernard Pierce tries to avoid a Patrick Willis tackle in the Under Armour Highlight.
Dennis Pitta catches a pass in Alpha Pro Nike football cleats.
Ray Lewis celebrates his final goal line stand in Fierce III Under Armour football cleats.