In a zany, yet thrilling second half of Super Bowl XLVII, the San Francisco 49ers almost pulled off the greatest comeback in the game’s history. But almost wasn’t good enough.
The Baltimore Ravens won the second Super Bowl it their franchise’s history Sunday night, beating the 49ers 34-31 in what turned out to be a game full of big plays on both sides of the ball and one massive snafu that literally had everyone, including the hundreds of millions of TV viewers, in the dark.
The Ravens had amassed a 28-6 lead early in the third quarter when the many of the Superdome’s lights simply shut off. Minutes after Jacoby Jones set an NFL record with a 109-yard kick return for a touchdown, an “abnormality”, as described by officials, caused the stadium lights to shut down, which in turn caused a delay that lasted 34 minutes.
When the lights returned, so did the Niners’ game.
The 49ers mounted an impressive comeback behind another spectacular performance from second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who made his 10th career start Sunday night. Kaepernick threw for more than 300 yards, tossed a TD and rushed for another, as the Niners cut the lead to 31-29 in the fourth quarter after missing a two-point conversion.
However, they got one last chance to win the game. They marched the ball inside the 10-yard line with just under two minutes to play, but could not convert on a fourth down play. Contact in the end zone sent coach Jim Harbaugh into a furious tirade as he argued that interference occurred, but no flag was thrown.
The Baltimore win sent Ray Lewis off into the sunset with his second Super Bowl ring and it could not have been a more fitting ending for the NFL legend, as he led his team on a goal line stand to win the game.
“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, via ESPN.com. “And you looked around this stadium and Baltimore! Baltimore! We coming home, baby! We did it!”
However, it was Joe Flacco who stole most of the show for the Ravens, as he finally received some much deserved recognition as the game’s MVP. Flacco threw 3 touchdowns on the night, completing 22 of 33 throws for 287 yards and unlike Kaepernick, he did not throw an interception.
As the Ravens began to celebrate in one of America’s biggest party towns, the feeling was definitely bittersweet for coach John Harbaugh, who earned the career-affirming victory at the expense of his brother Jim’s defeat.
“It’s very tough,” John Harbaugh said, referring to the conversation the brothers had at midfield following the game. “It’s a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be. It’s very painful.”
But at the end of the day, Harbaugh and the city of Baltimore couldn’t be prouder of its championship team for the way it battled through thick and thin.
“I think it speaks to our resolve, speaks to our determination, speaks to our mental toughness,” John Harbaugh said. “That is what wins and loses games.”
Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens – Super Bowl XLVII Champions!