Quick Hits: Baltimore Ravens prevail in Super Bowl XLVII, 34-31

By
Updated: February 3, 2013

Linebacker Ray Lewis went out in the blaze of glory he dreamed of as his Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in Super Bowl XLVII. He became the first player ever to win two Super Bowls 12 years apart.

Close, but no cigar

The San Francisco 49ers put on perhaps the most impressive comeback in Super Bowl history, scoring 17 unanswered points in the space of four minutes and 10 seconds, but their late-game heroics weren’t enough to atone for the damage wrought by their early miscues, and they fell to the Baltimore Ravens 34-31.

Triumphant Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco took Super Bowl XLVII MVP honors for his performance, as he finished the day 22 of 33 passing for 287 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions.

Disastrous start

The second half could hardly have started out worse for the 49ers, as on the opening kickoff, Ravens return man Jacoby Jones broke free for a record-tying 108-yard touchdown.

On San Francisco’s subsequent drive, quarterback Colin Kaepernick completed a pass to wide receiver Michael Crabtree for 29 yards. Running back Frank Gore then took it off left guard for three yards. The drive was brought to an abrupt halt as Kaepernick was sacked for a loss of six yards and the lights went out over half of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Play was suspended for nearly 35 minutes until power could be restored restored. Players were requested to remain on the field, where they attempted to stay loose by stretching.

When play resumed on third-and-13, Kaepernick rolled out to elude the pass rush and threw for only six yards, forcing San Francisco to punt the ball away.

After the Ravens’ ensuing drive went virtually nowhere, Kaepernick took the 49ers on his back, scrambling when he could find no one open. He capped off the drive by sending Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis on a crossing pattern and completing the pass to Crabtree in double coverage. Crabtree evaded the defensive backs, who collided haplessly with each other, and took the ball 31 yards for the 49ers’ first touchdown of the game.

Yet again the Baltimore offense stalled, as on third-and-10, Flacco took a sack for -8 yards at the Baltimore nine-yard line. Wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr. returned the a punt to the Baltimore 20-yard line, setting the 49ers up with superb field position. Inexplicably, the Ravens pulled their linebackers and defensive backs beyond the first-dowm marker, virtually conceding an open-field catch to Davis. On the ensuing play, guard Mike Iupati sealed the edge and tight end Delanie Walker threw a fantastic block to spring running back Frank Gore free for a six-yard touchdown run.

The Ravens’ next possession ended in disaster, as running back Ray Rice fumbled at the Baltimore 24-yard line — his third fumble of the postseason — and the ball was recovered by cornerback Tarell Brown.

Amped up

Kaepernick came out seemingly overexcited, overthrowing both Davis and Ginn in the end zone. Placekicker David Akers was hit and apparently injured on the 39-yard field goal attempt, missing wide left. Cornerback Chykie Brown was flagged running into the kicker, which cost the Ravens five yards. Akers nailed the 34-yard retry right down the middle, but was tended to on the sidelines by trainers after the play.

Baltimore responded by pounding the rock with Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, stalling inside the San Francisco five-yard line and settling for a 19-yard field goal.

After nose tackle Hloti Ngata was injured in the third quarter, the Ravens seemed incapable of stuffing the run or maintaining contain. San Francisco marched down the field as Gore picked up 26 yards on the ground and Kaepernick completed a beautiful 32-yard pass to wide receiver Randy Moss. On second-and-seven from the Baltimore 15-yard line, Kaepernick broke outside for a 15-yard touchdown, the longest scoring run by a quarterback in Super Bowl history.

Keeping things conservative, the Ravens resorted to the short passing game. After 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh successfully challenged a spot that would have given the Ravens a first down, Baltimore faced third and about a foot. Wide receiver Anquan Boldin made a fantastic catch with cornerback Carlos Rogers in his face to extend the drive.

Baltimiore received 14 free yards when cornerback Chris Culliver, who looked overmatched all game, was flagged for defensive pass interference. A third-down Flacco incompletion was negated when not one, but two 49ers were flagged for offsides on the same play. After the subsequent pass fell incomplete, Baltimore elected to kick a 38-yard Justin Tucker field goal instead of going for it on fourth-and-two.

San Francisco stormed back down the field on a series of big plays, including a 33-yard run by Gore that brought them inside the 10-yard line. After a short run by halfback LaMichael James, Kaepernick failed to connect with Crabtree in the end zone on three consecutive attempts, turning the ball over on downs.

Refusing to take any chances, the Ravens opted for three cautious run calls, before snapping the ball to their punter to run the clock down to 0:04 and take an intentional safety in what was arguably one of the wisest, most unconventional, and most plays in Super Bowl history. It was refreshing to see an NFL coach put winning first instead of taking a tough-guy approach out of a misguided sense of honor.

Wrapping up

This game was a graphic illustration of why the late-game comeback is perhaps most overrated event in football lore. Had the 49ers not made so many inexcusable mistakes in the first half, they never would have been in the position of needing to attempt a 22-point comeback. Neither defense looked particularly impressive, but except for a stretch in the third quarter, the 49ers defense looked atrocious. Their tackling skills were virtually nonexistent, as the defensive backs seemed to think their job consisted of pushing ball carriers out of bounds.

In the end, the Ravens looked better prepared than the 49ers, not only in terms of their game plan, but also their mental and emotional approach to the game. Baltimore played doggedly and methodically, whereas San Francisco repeatedly lost their composure. Congratulations to head coach John Harbaugh for prevailing in the first ever battle of brothers.

About the author(s)

Rourke Douglas Decker covers the Green Bay Packers beat for Water Cooler Sports. He resides with his family in the Twin Cities. He can be reached for questions or comments at . Connect with .

207 comments
Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

A bunch of burly men slamming into each other and Beyonce singing. I love gay pride events.

andylet445
andylet445

Probably the best play last night


andylet445
andylet445

Holy hell Staley da Bear just fucked up the coaching staff.


Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

I would just like to thank Buffalo Wild Wings for killing the lights and making last night's game a lot more interesting.

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

probably scooped, but this is a must-read for all sports fans

Benjamin Rajile
Benjamin Rajile

The Ravens may have won the SB, 

but the real story from the weekend is that I bowled a 114 Saturday.

I'll be mailing out signed prints of my scorecard later this week if anyone is interested

JVince11
JVince11

 Lions played last night???

andylet445
andylet445

yeah the mosh pits before and after the beyonce concert confused me. 

JVince11
JVince11

 it isn't working... just a blank screen......

JVince11
JVince11

 Green Bay will not draft a FUCKING TE in the first round... dumb mother fuckers!!!!

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

 I will be PISSED if the Bears draft Te'o.

JVince11
JVince11

 I was waiting for Bane to walk out....

Childerz...
Childerz...

 Here is my thing with Ray Lewis and AP.... Ray had a massive brace on his arm and that dudes email that he was playing at a higher level than before he was injured just wasn't true... Ray wasn't even 50% of what he was before his injury, he was missing tackles, slow and out of place 80% of the time the only reason the coaches let him play is because he's Ray.

.

Adrian Peterson was very public with his rehab... sometimes when you have just ridiculous work ethic you heal faster than others... some people just are genetically better than others and tend to heal faster alread combine that with a positive attitude and a willingness to do the work it pays off. AP's season wasn't as eye opening as say if Reggie Bush hurt his knee as a career 900 yard rusher and then came back and had a 2k season. AP was always knocking on the door of breaking that 2k yard barrier and everyone knew he had it him it. I think that attribute alone sets them apart. 

Kenny Fucking Powers, Bitch!
Kenny Fucking Powers, Bitch!

I kinda do't care about PED's.  You could argue its already not fair because "god" made some dudes mother fucking beasts!

Childerz...
Childerz...

 Congrats on bowling a 114 with the Bumpers up. 

JVince11
JVince11

 sweeeeeet... I some how bowled a 130 a few weeks back.. that was the first time I topped 80 in anything other than creating myself in Madden.

Childerz...
Childerz...

 Usually BBAO post brings people in. 

G & G
G & G moderator

 At NFCW Blog

Benjamin Rajile
Benjamin Rajile

   

They never found his original jersey he started the game in

Benjamin Rajile
Benjamin Rajile

   

There's no way they'd pass on Lane Johnson if he fell to them. Draft Countdown is dumb

JVince11
JVince11

  He even used one of those kids deals where you jus tplace the ball at the top of the incline and let it roll down...

Benjamin Rajile
Benjamin Rajile

  

I usually bowl around the 80's too. I feel like it was meant to be or something. Maybe Ray talked to god for me.

Childerz...
Childerz...

 we learned already its badnews for w/e reason when KS beats us to the BBAO's in the morning lol

JVince11
JVince11

  seriously?  Who gives a shit.. it is draft season if you ask me... my hockey team fucking blows this season.

Benjamin Rajile
Benjamin Rajile

   

DJ Williams is a 2 time whatever the fuck the TE award in NCAA is too. He hasn't had much of a chance yet either

Pat Fenis, Esq.
Pat Fenis, Esq.

  Finley could be cut... I didn't we'd draft Jordy in the 2nd round but we did.

JVince11
JVince11

  TT isn't a tool bag... so I am pretty sure... We have 3 TEs that all could see a lot of snaps in Finley, Williams, and Quarless.. let alone Crabtree in blocking situations on some routes... 

Benjamin Rajile
Benjamin Rajile

    

Yeah but my wiener will usually fit in even the smallest of holes

JVince11
JVince11

   did it have the 4th hole for your weiner?

Benjamin Rajile
Benjamin Rajile

   

I think my real key to victory was finding one of those pink 8 lb balls with holes big enough for my fingers

JVince11
JVince11

  I cried when i heard the pins being knocked down.. usually I just wear ear plugs.

Kenny Fucking Powers, Bitch!
Kenny Fucking Powers, Bitch!

  Yeah sorry I don't get too excited for drafts.  Packers always pick late anyway.  And something cool happens only when a Clay Matthews drops to us.

Childerz...
Childerz...

 The draft is the best thing to happen to football in as much as Pugs are the best thing to happen to the Puppy Bowl. 

Benjamin Rajile
Benjamin Rajile

    

The draft is exciting as fuck.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU? WHY DO YOU HATE FOOTBALL?

JVince11
JVince11

    you are a packer fan aren't you Koosh?