A 34-minute-long power outage at the Mercedes Benz Superdome Sunday night siphoned some of the energy out of the Baltimore Ravens, but not enough to deny them of their destiny atop the NFL world.
San Francisco regrouped during the prolonged delay and mounted a comeback from 22 points down to a chance to win in the game’s final moments. But quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s fourth-down attempt from the 5 yard line inside of two minute fell incomplete, preserving a 34-31 Baltimore victory in Super Bowl XLVII.
“It’s never pretty, it’s never perfect, but it was us,” said Baltimore coach John Harbaugh, who told his brother, SF coach Jim Harbaugh that he loved him when they met briefly after the game.
Jim Harbaugh left the field thinking about what could have been. His team rallied, but it was their slow start that really hurt them. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco (22 or 33 for 287 yards for 3 touchdowns) was brilliant early for his efforts won the game’s MVP.
Lineback Ray Lewis, a future Hall of Fame inductee, was thrust into retirement as a champion for the second time,. He was MVP of Baltimore’s 2001 Super Bowl title.
“No greater way as a champ, to go out on your last ride, with the men on my team, “ Lewis said.
Buoyed by their often-maligned Flacco, and a spectacular night by Jacoby Jones, the Ravens raced out to a 28-6 lead by the opening minutes of the third quarter. But moments after Jones’ Super Bowl record 108-yard kickoff return to start the half, the power outage of half the dome occurred. The delay was long and the Niners gained poised during the break while the Ravens came back relatively lackluster.
On their second series after the lights went out, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was outstanding, connected with Michael Crabtree for a touchdown to start a stunning rally.
A nice punt return by Ted Ginn Jr., set up Frank Gore’s touchdown run – the second Niners touchdown in 2:21, and suddenly Baltimore’s lead was just 28-20 with still more than five minutes left in the third quarter.
If that was not enough, Ray Rice of Baltimore caught a pass in the flat, but fumbled when hit by Terrell Brown, who also recovered for the 49ers, giving them possession in a remarkable swing of events. San Francisco got a field goal out of the turnover, making it 17 successive points, helping them overcome Jones’ 108 kickoff return to build a S.F. 28-6 lead.
But Flacco made plays to keep Baltimore from a total collapse and the Ravens’ defense –long their staple – made four stops from the 5 to give them a championship in a game that will be remembered for power plays on the field and a power outage.