Every Super Bowl is known for that one defining moment or statistic.
Super Bowl XLVII just might go down in history as “The Blackout in New Orleans,” but Baltimore Ravens fans will more affectionately remember 2013 as the year their team held off the surging San Francisco 49ers to preserve a 34-31 victory.
Early in the third quarter at the Super Dome, with the Ravens clutching a decisive 28-6 lead, half of the stadium’s lights went out, bringing the contest to a standstill for over 30 minutes. Fans might have found the lengthy delay as an annoyance, but it was just what the 49ers needed to catch their breath and make a heart-pounding run at stealing the Super Bowl title throughout the rest of the way.
Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco helped his team build the lead with an outstanding performance in the first half. He connected with Anquan Boldin, Dennis Pitta and Jacoby Jones respectively to help build a 21-6 halftime lead. The 49ers’ only answer was two field goals by David Akers.
The Ravens piled it on right out of the gate in the third quarter when Jones sprinted back a Super Bowl record 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
The lights turned off; the 49ers turned on
Colin Kaepernick recorded San Francisco’s first touchdown of the game with 7:20 left in the third quarter when he connected with Michael Crabtree, who broke a tackle and scampered in for a 31-yard touchdown.
The 49ers quickly made a stop on defense and a long punt return by Ted Ginn Jr. set up a 6-yard touchdown run by Frank Gore with 4:59 left in the third to bring it to a one-possession game at 28-20.
After exchanging field goals, Kaepernick broke a 15-yard touchdown run with 9:57 left in the contest to put the 49ers a two-point conversation away from tying it. However, San Francisco failed at their two-point conversion attempt.
Controversy on the final drive
Baltimore’s Justin Tucker punched through yet another field goal with 4:19 remaining, bringing the Ravens’ lead to 34-29. It also set up one last drive for the 49ers to score a touchdown and take the lead.
San Francisco muscled down to the Baltimore 7-yard line and had a 1st-and-goal opportunity. After gaining two yards on the ground, Kaepernick threw three-straight incomplete passes to end the game.
But, controversy struck on the final play when Kaepernick attempted to connect with Crabtree, who was running toward the back, right corner of the end zone. Defender Jimmie Smith made contact with Crabtree, and he was unable to get to the ball. Some think that the refs blew a pass interference call.
The Ravens were able to hold on to the ball, taking a safety in the process, into the dying seconds. They punted the ball away following the safety and time expired.
Flacco was named Super Bowl MVP by going 22-for-33 for 287 yards and three touchdowns. Kaepernick ended the game 16-for-28 for 302 yards, a touchdown and one interception. He also rushed for 62 yards. Gore led all rushers with 110 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. The victory was Baltimore’s second Super Bowl win in the last 11 years and gave Joe Flacco’s reputation as an elite NFL quarterback a huge boost.
Tough to be interested in
Something about this game just was lacking. I don’t know if it was the teams involved, some of the players, or really what it was. I just don’t think the aura was that of a mega-game or Super Bowl type level. Even the commercials just didn’t seem all that great either. I spent a good share of my time watching the game for sure, but I was away from the tv during the commercials and cooking during halftime. For some reason this game just didn’t have my attention for the weeks approaching and even during the game. Oh well, NFL training camp is only 6 months away.