The Baltimore Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII (USA Today Sports Images)
In a Super Bowl that will be remembered for a lengthy power outage, the Baltimore Ravens jumped out to a 22-point lead in the third quarter before holding on to win Super Bowl XLVII, defeating the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Quarterback Joe Flacco earned MVP honors after completing 22-of-33 pass attempts for 287 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.
The Ravens opened the scoring, driving 51 yards on six plays before Joe Flacco hit Anquan Boldin for a 13-yard touchdown on a third-and-4 play. The 49ers appeared to force a field goal attempt by rookie Justin Tucker, but linebacker Ahmad Brooks jumped offsides, giving the Ravens a second chance at the end zone.
San Francisco responded by driving down to the Ravens' eight-yard line, but Colin Kaepernick just missed Michael Crabtree in the end zone on a second down attempt and was sacked by Paul Kruger on the next play to set up a 36-yard field goal by David Akers. The 49ers were in scoring range on their next possession, but rookie running back LaMichael James had the ball poked loose by rookie linebacker Courtney Upshaw and defensive end Arthur Jones fell on the loose ball at the Ravens' 25-yard line.
The Ravens would drive 75 yards in 10 plays before Flacco hit tight end Dennis Pitta for a one-yard touchdown to extend Baltimore's lead to 14-3. The Ravens had an opportunity to extend that lead after Ed Reed intercepted on the opening play of the 49ers' next series. The Ravens had an opportunity to kick a 32-yard field goal, but head coach John Harbaugh called for the first fake field goal attempt in Super Bowl history. It may also be the last, as Tucker was stopped one yard short of the line to gain and the Ravens turned the ball over on downs.
Following a three-and-out by the 49ers, the Ravens took over at their own 44-yard line with just over two minutes remaining in the first half. Following a pair of incomplete pass attempts - the second of which could have been intercepted by 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver, who was visibly interfered with by wide receiver Torrey Smith – Flacco heaved a ball deep down field and into the arms of Jacoby Jones, who had snuck behind the 49ers secondary. Jones hauled in the pass while falling down at the Ravens' 10-yard line, but was not touched by Culliver and alertly got up and ran into the end zone for a 56-yard touchdown to give Baltimore a 21-3 lead.
The 49ers would add a 27-yard field goal by Akers to send the teams into the half with the Ravens leading 21-6.
Baltimore had won the opening coin toss and elected to defer to the second half. That decision paid off as Jacoby Jones set an NFL postseason record with a 108-yard kick return for a touchdown that put the Ravens ahead 28-6 and seemingly sunk any hopes the 49ers had of a second-half comeback.
The 49ers' next possession was interrupted by a 33-minute power outage, but the NFC champs would begin to seize momentum.
After forcing a Ravens punt, Kaepernick led the 49ers on a quick seven-play, 80-yard drive that was punctuated by a 31-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown by Crabtree, who shrugged off shoulder tackle attempts from cornerback Cary Williams and safety Bernard Pollard to score. The 49ers defense forced a three-and-out and Ted Ginn returned the Sam Koch punt 32 yards, setting the 49ers up at the Ravens' 20-yard line. Two plays later, Frank Gore waltzed into the end zone from six yards out to cut the Ravens' lead to 28-20.
Baltimore would continue to show signs of cracking when Ray Rice caught a short pass from Flacco only to have cornerback Tarell Brown punch the ball loose and recover the fumble at the Ravens' 24-yard line. The 49ers would convert the turnover into points via a 34-yard field goal from Akers to cut the lead to five points.
The Ravens would begin to hold off the 49ers, driving all the way down to the one-yard line before calling on Tucker to kick an 18-yard field goal to extend their lead back to eight points. The 49ers responded with a drive that again featured big plays, including a 32-yard pass from Kaepernick to Randy Moss and a 21-yard run from Gore before Kaepernick scrambled for a 15-yard touchdown, the longest rushing touchdown by a quarterback in Super Bowl history. Unfortunately for the 49ers, they could not convert the two-point attempt and still trailed the Ravens, 31-29 with 10 minutes remaining in regulation.
The Ravens began to use the clock against the 49ers, running the ball and calling short passing plays as they drove 59 yards over 10 plays, chewing five minutes and 38 seconds off the clock before Tucker kicked a 38-yard field goal to give the Ravens a 34-29 lead, forcing the 49ers to score a late touchdown to win the game.
Big plays gave the 49ers an opportunity to do so.
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A 24-yard pass play to Crabtree was immediately followed by a 33-yard run by Gore, setting the 49ers up at the Ravens' seven-yard line with over two minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Three attempts from Kaepernick to Crabtree would fall incomplete, turning the ball over on downs to the Ravens with 1:50 remaining on the clock and only one timeout remaining to stop the clock. The 49ers defense would force a punt, but the Ravens had drained so much of the clock, John Harbaugh had punter Sam Koch run in the end zone to milk more time before taking a safety with four seconds remaining.
Ginn fielded the ensuing free kick, but was tackled at midfield as the final whistle sounded.
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