Ravens Hold Off 49ers for Super Bowl Win
Charles E. Sutton | 2/4/2013, 5:25 p.m.
A power outage caused America's biggest sporting event to be placed on hold for more than 30 minutes Sunday, disrupting a back-and-forth, otherwise electric Super Bowl that finished with the Baltimore Ravens as NFL champions thanks to a 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers.
Joe Flacco, voted the game's MVP, completed three touchdown passes in the first half to cap an 11-TD, zero-interception playoff run. Jacoby Jones opened the second half with a 108-yard kickoff return, a Super Bowl record, to give the Ravens a 28-6 lead.
A few moments later, lights in the indoor stadium faded, making it challenging to see. When play resumed, Colin Kaepernick led the 49ers to 17 straight points, closing the deficit to 31-29.
But the Ravens stopped the 49ers on a fourth-and-goal from the 5 with less than 2 minutes remaining when Kaepernick's throw went over the head of Michael Crabtree in the end zone.
The largest deficit a team has ever overcome to win a Super Bowl is 10 points, and there were moments when it looked like the San Francisco 49ers had a shot at making history. Instead, the 49ers lost for the first time in six Super Bowl appearances.
The AFC champion Ravens (14-6) improved to 2-0 in the big game, after moving to Baltimore from Cleveland 17 years ago. They also won the title in 2001, when linebacker Ray Lewis was voted the game's MVP. Lewis did not have a major impact on this game, but he received a lot of attention, playing in the final game of his 17-year career prior to retirement.
This Super Bowl featured a unique head coaching matchup between brothers John and Jim Harbaugh. John is 15 months older.
Baltimore got off to an early lead, but everyone knew that San Francisco was capable of coming back. They proved it against Atlanta when they trailed by 17 points before winning the NFC championship game.
Following the power outage, NFC champion San Francisco (13-5-1) began to tighten up the game, scoring 17 points in less than four and a half minutes.
First, Kaepernick hit Crabtree for a 31-yard touchdown pass. Then, with 5 minutes remaining in the third quarter, Frank Gore ran around the right end for a 6-yard TD. That was followed by David Akers' 34-yard field goal to draw the 49ers within 28-23.
The game was very close heading into the final quarter. Each team had 17 first downs. The 49ers led in total yards 317-315. Also, time of possession was nearly even.