Michael Crabtree scores on a 31-yard touchdowns (USA Today Sports Images)
With the Baltimore Ravens storming out to a 28-6 lead over the San Francisco 49ers when Jacoby Jones returned the opening kick of the third quarter 108 yards for a touchdown, the NFC champions were in need of a big play.
As has been the case throughout the 2012 regular and postseason, wide receiver Michael Crabtree stepped up to provide it.
Crabtree, who established career highs with 85 receptions for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns during the regular season, hauled in a 16-yard laser from quarterback Colin Kaepernick and broke through two shoulder tackle attempts by Ravens cornerback Cary Williams and safety Bernard Pollard. The 31-yard touchdown breathed life into the 49ers sidelines in addition to the seven points added to the scoreboard.
The 49ers defense responded with a three-and-out and, after a 43-yard punt from Sam Koch, the team got a 32-yard punt return from Ted Ginn to set the offense up at the Ravens' 20-yard line. Two plays later, Frank Gore scampered into the end zone to cut the Ravens' lead to 28-20.
Crabtree has four receptions for 85 yards on the night, giving him 19 receptions for 261 yards and now has three touchdowns in the 49ers' three playoff games.
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