Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens as Jobu reviews Super Bowl XLVII.
Leading up to this Super Bowl, we covered a lot of things. There was the Ray Lewis story, the Harbaugh Brothers story and the emergence of Colin Kaepernick as a legitimate NFL Quarterback. In my Super Bowl preview, I predicted that the Ravens would win, Ray Lewis would be the MVP, and Colin Kaepernick would do something ridiculous. Two out of three ain’t bad, right?
By the time Jacoby Jones streaked into the End Zone on his Super Bowl Record 108 yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half, Super Bowl XLVII had all the makings of a complete laugher. With that electrifying score, the Ravens took a 28-6 lead just 11 seconds into the half. The Way Kaepernick and the ’49ers defense had played in the first half, I’m sure most of us in TV Land thought the game was over. Simply put, the Ravens had out-shined the ’49ers in every aspect of the game.
Joe Flacco was firing on all cylinders, throwing TD passes of 13 yards to Anquan Boldin (6 catches, 104 yards, 1 TD), 1 yard to Dennis Pitta (4 catches, 26 yards, 1 TD) and a dazzling 56 yards to Jacoby Jones (1 catch, 56 yards, 1 TD, 234 return yards, 1 TD) in the first half. Flacco would end up 22/33 for 287 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs and a well-earned Super Bowl MVP. The ’49ers, meanwhile, had only managed two field goals to this point, and Kaepernick couldn’t seem to get anything going at all.
That’s when the lights went out. No, not metaphorically for the ’49ers, the actual lights in the Super Dome went out. In a surreal occurrence, players sat around stretching and jabbering with each other as crews worked tirelessly for 34 minutes before they were able to restore power to the building. After the delay, it was like two completely new teams came back to the field.
Kaepernick led the ’49ers to 17 points in about 5 minutes of game clock time, throwing a 31 yard TD pass to Michael Crabtree (5 catches, 109 yards, 1 TD) and leading another drive that saw Frank Gore (20 carries, 59 yards, 1 TD) run one in from 6 yards out. After a 31 yard Field Goal by the much maligned David Akers (3-3 on FG in the game), the ’49ers suddenly trailed 28-23 with 3:10 to go in the third quarter.
The Ravens tacked on a 19 yard Field Goal by Justin Tucker to extend their lead to 31-23, but Kaepernick’s momentum was on full tilt. He drove the ’49ers down the field once again, and with 9:57 to go in the game, ran one in from 15 yards out for a score to pull the ’49ers within two at 31-29. The run, a Super Bowl record for a QB, capped a pretty ridiculous turn of events. Kaepernick’s second half surge not only brought the ’49ers back into the game, but it really legitimized him as one of the better young QBs in the league. Despite the most adversity he’d faced on a football field in the biggest pressure situation in the sport, he buckled down and played like a hero. Joe Montana and Steve Young would be proud. Unfortunately, the ’49ers would miss on the two-point conversion and the Ravens would add a 38 yard Field Goal by Tucker to extend the lead to 34-29
Kaepernick got the ball back with about four minutes to go in the game, and proceeded to pad his numbers some more, driving the ’49ers back into the red zone for what it seemed would be the possible game-winning score. Unfortunately, the ”49ers finally stalled out and were unable to convert a fourth-and-goal from the 5. Jim Harbaugh went absolutely nuts on a non defensive hold call in the end zone on the last play of the drive. There was definitely contact, but I think the ball was uncatchable and you don’t want the referees deciding the Super Bowl on a controversial call, so I was totally fine with the non-call.
The game was pretty much over after that, but John Harbaugh had one more trick up his sleeve to put the game out of his brother, Jim’s, reach. With about 12 seconds to go, and the Ravens deep in their own territory on fourth down, punter Sam Koch took the snap and held the ball for eight or nine seconds before running out of bounds to essentially kill the clock. That shrewd bit of trickery (unlike the terrible fake Field Goal call from John Harbaugh earlier in the game) left the ’49ers with only one chance, which was to return the kickoff/punt after the safety for a TD. Teddy Ginn tried his best, but it was a Herculean task. He was tackled and the game ended.
What started out as a laugher ended up as a nail biter. Brother John out-coached Brother Jim. Ray Lewis got to walk off into the sunset as Champion (because God loves him more than anyone on earth). Colin Kaepernick (16/28, 302 yards, 1 TD, 1INT, 7 carries, 62 yards, 1 TD) established himself as a real NFL QB. We even got a fun blackout story to tell, and Jim Harbaugh might have started down his road to becoming the new Bill Belichick. Seriously. He snubbed CBS sideline analyst (and former NFL’er) Steve Tasker twice in this game (once during the blackout and then after the loss). You must respect Steve Tasker!
Anyway, I may have missed on the score (I said 28-20), but I picked the winner right, had a good time watching it at Dr. Draft’s (and the future Mrs. Draft) lovely home, and can now go on my vacation in peace. It was too bad my Giants didn’t make it to the big game this year, but at least the Patriots didn’t either. Sorry Jerry.
Featured image courtesy of: Rob Tringali/ESPN
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