Ravens Win Super Bowl!
Baltimore defeats San Francisco in a lights-out performance
Heading into Super Bowl XLVII (47) at the Superdome in New Orleans on Sunday, both the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers had never lost a Super Bowl. But only one team could come out with its perfect record intact.
And it turned out to be Baltimore.
Led by quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco, the Ravens defeated the 49ers 34-31 to win its second Super Bowl title.
"I don't think it's going to settle in for a while," Flacco said after the game. "We don't make anything easy. It was a hard-fought game on both sides. I think we gave the country a pretty good game to watch."
But for the first half, it looked like the Ravens would run away with a victory.
On their first possession, the Ravens marched downfield and Flacco connected with receiver Anquan Boldin for a touchdown. The 49ers scored a field goal to make the score 7-3, but the Ravens responded in a big way. They scored two more touchdowns, the second coming on a 56-yard pass from Flacco to receiver Jacoby Jones.
While the Ravens offense was flying high, the defense kept the 49ers in check. Led by linebacker Ray Lewis, who was playing in his last game, the Ravens held the 49ers to two field goals in the first half.
Heading into halftime, the Ravens had a commanding 21-6 lead.
"We knew if we had a couple of stops on defense, we'd get back in the game," 49ers safety Donte Whitner said. "We have character in the locker room, we knew we'd make a run."
But the second half began like the first ended: with the Ravens in command.
On the half's opening kickoff, Jones caught the football deep in his end zone and ran it back for a 108-yard touchdown. The run set a Super Bowl record and gave the Ravens a commanding 28-6 lead.
Then the power went out. Literally.
In the middle of the third quarter, during a San Francisco drive, half of the Superdome lost power. For 34 minutes, half of the stadium was dark. Rumors swirled as to the cause of the power outage. Some people thought it was because of Beyonce's halftime show. Others said it was a massive power surge.
As of Monday morning, New Orleans officials were still investigating the true cause.
But what was not in question, though, was that the momentum of the game completely shifted.
Before the power outage, the Ravens dominated the 49ers in every aspect of the game. After power was restored, the Ravens looked slow and sluggish as the 49ers roared to life.
San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick led his team on an impressive seven-play, 80-yard touchdown drive to make the score 28-13. Two minutes and 34 seconds later, the 49ers scored another touchdown. Then the Ravens fumbled the ball, leading to a 49ers field goal.
As the fourth quarter began, the Ravens lead had been cut to 28-23.
"It really hurt us. We had lot of momentum," Baltimore fullback Vonta Leach said.
The 49ers kept scoring, and in the last minutes of the game the Ravens clung to a narrow 34-29 lead.
With less than two minutes to play, the 49ers were five yards away from taking the lead. But the Ravens defense held and kept them out of the end zone.
The 49ers got a safety with seconds left in the game and got the ball back, but by then it was too little too late.
"We got down to the 5-yard line and couldn't win a game," 49ers tight end Delanie Walker said.
Time had run out on the 49ers comeback. The Ravens were NFL champions for the second time.
"It wasn't pretty, it wasn't perfect, but it was us," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "The final series of Ray Lewis' career was a goal line stand to win the Lombardi Trophy. As Ray said on the podium, how could it be any better than that?"
For Lewis, his teammates, and the city of Baltimore, the answer is nothing.
"It's no greater way, as a champ, to go out on your last ride with the men that I went out with, with my teammates," Lewis said. "And you looked around this stadium and Baltimore! Baltimore! We coming home, baby! We did it!"
More Super Bowl XLVII coverage: Kid Reporter Anya Jensen reports from San Francisco about the city getting ready to watch the 49ers in the Super Bowl. And Kid Reporter Emily Shao reports from Maryland about Baltimore Ravens' fans getting ready for the Super Bowl.
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