Super Bowl XLVII between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers was billed as the NFL’s version of Cain and Abel. It pitted John Harbaugh against his brother Jim in a winner take all coaching grudge match. While it took awhile to get there, the game finally did live up to those expectations.
Baltimore took an early 7-0 lead thanks to a defensive penalty that gave the Ravens another shot on third down. Joe Flacco was able to find Anquan Boldin in the back of the end zone for the touchdown with 10:42 left in the first quarter.
The 49ers were able to respond on the next possession thanks to two passes by Colin Kaepernick. A 19-yard pass to Wide Receiver Michael Crabtree and a 24-yard pass to Tight End, Vernon Davis gave the 49ers first and goal inside the Ravens 10 yard line. A three and out by the Baltimore defense forced San Francisco to settle for a 36-yard field goal by kicker, David Akers. That would close out the scoring for the first quarter. It was a 7-3 lead for Baltimore at that point.
San Francisco got the ball to start the second quarter after their defense held Baltimore to a three and out and forced a punt. The 49ers didn’t hold on to the ball long though. After a few passes by Colin Kaepernick rookie running back, LeMichael James fumbled on first down at the Raven’s 24-yard line. Baltimore recovers and is able to take it right down the field in 10 plays and score another touchdown, thanks to a one-yard pass from Joe Flacco to Tight End, Dennis Pitta. The score was 14-3 Baltimore following the extra point by rookie kicker, Justin Tucker with 7:15 left in the second quarter.
After the kickoff, 49ers QB, Colin Kaepernick was then picked off to give the Ravens the ball again. The Ravens were able to get the ball in the red zone again and it looked like they were going to score, until the Ravens decided to try a little trickery. They ran a fake field goal play (the first in Super Bowl history) to try and convert on fourth down. The 49ers were able to stop the Ravens on fourth down but were unable to put up any points on the following drive.
The Ravens got the ball back with 2:19 left in the first half. Following the punt return by Jacoby Jones, Ravens QB Joe Flacco started the drive with two incompletions to take the game to the two-minute warning. When play resumed, the Ravens had the ball with 1:58 on the clock and were facing third and ten on their own 44-yard line. Unfazed by the pressure, Flacco found Jones for a 56-yard touchdown and adding the extra point, gave the Ravens a 21-3 lead with 1:58 left in the second quarter.
San Francisco wasn’t content to just go into the half with that score hanging over their heads however. Kaepernick and the rest of the 49ers offense were able to put together an eight play drive at the end of the half to put the 49ers in position to kick a field goal, making the score at the end of the half 21-6 Baltimore.
Baltimore received the opening kickoff after deferring in the first half. They wasted no time in putting up six more points on a beaten down San Francisco squad as Jacoby Jones once again made his presence felt, returning the kick 108 yards for the score. That touchdown plus the extra point, pushed the score to 28-6 Ravens with 14:49 left in the third quarter.
The 49ers seemed to have no answer for the Ravens’ scoring attack, but that was before there was a 34-minute delay due to a partial power outage. The delay seemed to be just what the doctor ordered for the anemic San Francisco 49ers. They seemed to come alive after the delay. While their first drive after the outage ended with a punt, the 49ers defense was able to force the Ravens into a three and out to get the ball back for their offense.
It was then that the 49ers really got clicking on offense. A couple of short runs by Kaepernick along with a nine yard pass to Randy Moss and a 18-yard throw to Vernon Davis put the 49ers at the Baltimore 31 yard line. They capped off the seven-play drive with a 31-yard TD pass from Kaepernick to Crabtree. After the David Akers extra point the score was 28-13 Baltimore with 7:28 left in the third quarter.
San Francisco’s newfound confidence and scoring ability continued throughout the rest of the game. They were able to force Baltimore into a three and out on their next possession. The three and out was punctuated by a sack of Flacco at the Ravens own 17 yard line and a 43 yard punt returned 32 yards by Ted Ginn.
The 49ers began the next drive at the opposing 20-yard line. A 14 yard pass to Vernon Davis, set up a six yard touchdown run by Frank Gore and extra point, to make the score Baltimore 28 San Francisco 20 with 4:59 left in the third quarter.
Three plays later with the Ravens trying to run down the clock Joe Flacco throws a pass to Ray Rice and he fumbles at the Ravens own 24-yard line. The ball is recovered by 49ers Cornerback Tarrell Brown. Four plays later San Francisco sets up for a 39-yard field goal that goes wide left. Running into the kicker was called against Baltimore Cornerback, Chykie Brown and that is a five-yard penalty. David Akers got another shot and he made the 32-yard field goal attempt to make the score 28-23 Baltimore with 3:10 left in the third quarter.
Three plays after the 25-yard kickoff return by Jacoby Jones, Joe Flacco finds Anquan Boldin for a 30-yard gain. Then there was a six-yard pass to Dennis Pitta and two runs, one a two-yard run by Ray Rice and another eight-yard run by Bernard Pierce to end the quarter with the score, Ravens 28 49ers 23.
Ray Rice had a 14-yard run and Anquan Boldin had a nine-yard catch to set up a 19-yard field goal to make the score 31-23 Baltimore with 12:57 left in the fourth quarter.
A few plays later, Colin Kaepernick threw a 32-yard pass to Randy Moss that put the 49ers at the Ravens 39-yardline. A 21-yard run by Frank Gore and a three-yard run by Kaepernick put San Francisco at the Baltimore 15-yard line. Kaepernick, then ran 15-yards for the touchdown. The 49ers tried to convert for two points but failed. The score was then, 31-29 Baltimore with 10:04 left in the fourth quarter.
The following drive by the Ravens featured some short runs and passes. The Ravens settled for a 38-yard field goal extending their lead to 34-29 with 4:23 left in the fourth quarter.
San Francisco responded by getting into the red zone with a chance to win the game. A pair of eight yard runs by Gore and Kaepernick as well as a 24-yard pass to Crabetree and another 33-yard run by Gore set the 49ers up with first and goal at the Ravens seven yard line with a chance to win it. They then had a two-yard run by LeMichael James to take it down to the two-minute warning.
After the two-minute warning, there were two incompletions to set up a do or die fourth down and goal scenario. On fourth down, Kaepernick tried to hit Crabtree in the back of the end zone and while the 49ers thought there should have been a holding penalty called on Ravens Cornerback Jimmy Smith. no penalty was called. The pass was ruled incomplete and the ball went over to the Ravens on downs. From there the game was all but over. The Ravens ran the ball three times in a row, backed up against their own end zone. Then on fourth down they waited to let the clock rundown until they had to call a timeout to avoid a delay of game penalty. After the timeout, Ravens punter, Sam Koch ran around in the end zone to run off about eight seconds before running out of bounds in the end zone to give up a safety. The score was 34-31 Ravens. The Ravens lined up for the free kick and Ted Ginn returned it for 31 yards to end the game.
There you have it the Baltimore Ravens are your Super Bowl XLVII champions. It took awhile, but the SuperBaugh did live up to the hype. Ravens quarterback, Joe Flacco was 22 of 33 for 287 yards and three touchdowns. He was named the MVP.
Some other notes from the game: Ray Lewis won his second Super Bowl to bring to a close a 17-year career and Ed Reed won his first title in his eleven-year career. Also, lets not forget that Ravens coach John Harbaugh won his first Super Bowl in five-years as Baltimore’s head coach. He also won the ultimate bragging rights over his younger brother, Jim
Stats from: NFL.com