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Post-Power Outage Comeback Comes Up Short: Ravens Defeat 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII

After returning from a 22-point deficit to within two points of the lead, the San Francisco 49ers couldn’t pull off the comeback victory last Sunday in Super Bowl XLVII. The Baltimore Ravens took home the Lombardi Trophy with a 34-31 win for their second Super Bowl victory in the team’s history.

The game took place in the Superdome of New Orleans, Lou., in front of over 71,000 fans. Baltimore scored first, with a touchdown five minutes into the first quarter, and from there the Ravens rode their momentum all the way through the half and beyond. San Francisco scored around the three-minute mark in the first quarter on a 36-yard field goal by kicker David Akers. They finished the first quarter behind 7-3.

With the exception of a solid 49ers defensive play on a Ravens fake field goal attempt, Baltimore dominated the second quarter as well. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw two touchdown passes for a combined total of 57 yards, and Ravens safety Ed Reed picked up the lone interception of the game—also the first interception ever thrown by a San Francisco quarterback in the Super Bowl. The 49ers once again came away from the quarter with just a field goal, a 27-yard kick by Akers with no time left on the clock. The score at halftime was a daunting 21-6.

On the first play after halftime, Baltimore destroyed the 49ers’ hope for a shift in momentum as the Ravens’ Jacoby Jones returned the kickoff for a 108-yard touchdown, the longest play in Super Bowl history. Shortly after the touchdown, a power outage in the Superdome caused half the stadium’s lights to go out and delayed the game for 34 minutes. The extra break renewed San Francisco’s energy, and as power slowly returned to the lights and electronic sideline equipment, the 49ers prepared to come back from the biggest point deficit to ever be conquered in a Super Bowl game.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick brought San Francisco back into the game with a 31-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Michael Crabtree at the 7:20 mark in the third quarter. Less than three minutes later, San Francisco scored again on running back Frank Gore’s six-yard run. A 34-yard field goal by Akers completed the 49ers explosive third quarter scoring run, leaving them down by just five points (28-23) going into the fourth quarter.

After a scoreless post-power outage third quarter, the Ravens were on the board once again in the beginning of the fourth with a 19-yard field goal by kicker Justin Tucker. San Francisco answered with a 15-yard touchdown run by Kaepernick, the longest touchdown run by a quarterback in Super Bowl history. In an effort to tie up the score at 31-31, the 49ers attempted a two-point conversion, but were thwarted by a well-timed blitz by Reed that forced a hurried throw, resulting in an incomplete pass. Baltimore pulled further away from San Francisco’s reach with a 38-yard field goal by Tucker with four minutes remaining.

Down 34-29, the 49ers drove all the way down the field and got to the Ravens five-yard line with just over two minutes left in the game. San Francisco had four chances to convert a five-yard touchdown, but came up short. Crabtree appeared to be held on the fourth down pass from Kaepernick, but no flag was thrown. Baltimore regained possession of the ball at their own five-yard line and ran three straight running plays to take time off the clock. San Francisco used its third and final timeout following the first down run. The 49ers burned their first two timeouts of the half at questionable moments — one was called on what appeared to be a miscommunication between Kaepernick and 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh called the 49ers’ second timeout on the previous series when the play clock was about to expire for a penalty.

On fourth down, the Ravens snapped the ball to punter Sam Koch with less than 15 seconds remaining, but instead of punting the ball away, Koch dodged around the end zone for as long as possible to take time off the clock before finally being forced out of bounds for a safety with four seconds remaining. Koch punted the ball away from Baltimore’s 20-yard line, and running back LaMichael James’ return came up short as time expired. The game was over, and Super Bowl XLVII went to the Baltimore Ravens, 34-31.

49ers To Face Ravens In Super Bowl XLVII

For the first time in the history of the NFL, two brothers will coach against each other in the Super Bowl as Jim Harbaugh’s San Francisco 49ers take on John Harbaugh’s Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII. Some have even called this game the Harbaugh Bowl I, The Harbaugh Bowl, and SupeHarbaughl. This ultimate test of sibling rivalry promises to be one of the most exciting games of the past decade.
The Baltimore Ravens have seemed to be on a determined path toward the Superbowl ever since All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis announced he would retire at the season’s end. Lewis has been both the on-field and the emotional leader of the Ravens since he joined the team in the it’s inaugural season over 10 years ago. The Ravens are now riding on the momentum of beating who experts considered to be the two best teams in the AFC – the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots. Baltimore found their success behind the excellent play of team leaders Lewis and quarterback Joe Flacco.

Meanwhile, the 49ers have looked to their smothering defense, led by linebacker Patrick Willis, and the surprisingly excellent play of second year quarterback Colin Kaepernick to defeat the Falcons, who boasted the best record in the NFL, in the NFC Championship Game.
Jim Harbaugh has always been known to take risks. His latest, starting second year Kaepernick over veteran quarterback Alex Smith, is making him look like the smartest coach in the NFL. The 49ers have gone 7-2 in Kaepernick’s nine starts during which he has thrown for 13 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Kaepernick has been even more impressive in the playoffs, boasting a 94.1 out of 100 QBR (Quarter Back Rating) and setting a playoff record for quarterback rushing yards with 181 against the Green Bay Packers. While Kaepernick’s play has been impressive, it is truly the 49ers defense that is the reason they are in the Super Bowl. Led by linebackers Navarro Bowman and Willis, as well as defensive lineman Justin Smith, the 49ers claim a top four defense in both opponent rushing and passing yards. If the 49ers are to beat the Ravens in the Super Bowl, the defense must shut down Flacco at quarterback as well as running back Ray Rice.
Just like his brother, John Harbaugh has had to make some tough decisions regarding his quarterback. Flacco has been criticized for years for his inability to win the big game, as he has lost in the AFC championship game two times before. However, John never gave up on his quarterback and has backed up Flacco since day one. Flacco has been exceptional this postseason, throwing for 853 yards, 8 touchdowns and zero interceptions. However, just like their opponents, the Ravens have turned to their defense to close out games. Led by linebackers Lewis and Terrell Suggs and safety Ed Reed, the Ravens defense held a New England Patriot’s offense, considered the best in the league, to only 13 points.
Both defenses will undoubtedly come out to play, but the dual threat of San Francisco’s Kaepernick along with running back Frank Gore should turn out to be too much for Baltimore’s defense to contain. In only two years, Jim Harbaugh will help the 49ers complete their quest for their sixth Superbowl.
Nick’s Final Score: San Francisco 34 – Baltimore 31.