Blackout at the Superdome leads to a huge momentum shift in Super Bowl

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

Maybe the San Francisco 49ers would have stormed back into Super Bowl XLVII without a 34-minute blackout.

But it's hard not to intertwine the blackout and the complete momentum changed that happened afterward.

Although the 49ers' first play after the blackout was a failed third down conversion that led to a punt, San Francisco came back in a big way after that. A couple of stops by the defense helped. So did quarterback Colin Kaepernick heating up. He hit Michael Crabtree for a touchdown. After a short punt and a good return by Ted Ginn, Kaepernick's throw to Vernon Davis set up a touchdown run by Frank Gore.

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The 49ers scored two touchdowns in 2:21 to cut Baltimore's lead from 22 points to only eight points. From the time of the blackout to Gore's touchdown, the 49ers outgained the Ravens 106-16. Once again it was a close game. The 49ers got even closer after Ray Rice lost a fumble, and the Ravens had a running into the kicker penalty on a David Akers' missed field goal. Akers made the second attempt after the penalty and San Francisco trailed 28-23, giving the 49ers 17 unanswered points in 4:10.

After a Baltimore field goal, Kaepernick led a drive that he ended with a 15-yard touchdown run, the longest for a quarterback in Super Bowl history. The two-point conversion, however, was incomplete, leaving Baltimore with a 31-29 lead with less than eight minutes remaining in the game.

Although the blackout looked like a nightmare for the NFL and CBS when it happened, it might have had the effect of making a once one-sided Super Bowl a competitive affair late in the third quarter.

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