Super Bowl XLVII Recap — Baltimore Ravens Hold Off San Francisco 49ers, 34-31
Joe Flacco threw three touchdown passes, and the Baltimore Ravens withstood a stadium power outage and a furious 49ers’ rally to beat San Francisco, 34-31, at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on Sunday night. The 49ers advanced to the Ravens’ five-yard line with 1:55 to play, but Colin Kaepernick threw three consecutive incomplete passes, all intended for receiver Michael Crabtree, and San Francisco turned the ball over to Baltimore on downs.
It was the second Super Bowl victory in the history of the Ravens franchise, while San Francisco suffered its first loss in six trips to the big game. Baltimore’s John Harbaugh won his first Super Bowl as head coach by beating younger brother Jim, the 49ers’ head coach.
The game seemed decided when Jacoby Jones returned the second-half kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown, giving AFC champ Baltimore a 28-6 lead. Just moments later, half the lights in the Superdome went out due to a power outage, halting play. The incident occurred following Arthur Jones’ sack of Kaepernick with 13:28 left in the third quarter. The teams stayed on the field throughout a 34-minute delay. Stadium authorities were still investigating the cause of the outage after the game.
After power had been restored, NFC champion San Francisco staged a mighty rally, scoring 17 straight points in less than five minutes to draw within 28-23 starting the fourth quarter. Included in the flurry was a 31-yard touchdown pass from Kaepernick to Crabtree and a 6-yard scoring run by Frank Gore.
Justin Tucker kicked a 19-yard field goal to give the Ravens a 31-23 edge with 12:54 to play, but the 49ers marched down the field, scoring on Kaepernick’s 15-yard touchdown run with 9:57 remaining to make it 31-29. San Francisco’s game-tying, two-point conversion attempt failed when Kaepernick could not connect with Randy Moss.
Tucker added a much-needed insurance field goal from 38 yards out with 4:19 to play. The 49ers drove down field again, setting the stage for their final chance, which went awry when Kaepernick’s passes to Crabtree fell incomplete. San Francisco was awarded a late safety when Ravens punter Sam Koch ran out of the end zone with four seconds remaining, but the final outcome was decided.
More than ever, it was clear the Super Bowl had become more than a sporting event; it’s a touchstone of modern American culture. As is tradition at halftime, the crowds both watching at home and inside the Superdome were entertained by a musical act. This year’s intermission featured Beyonce’s visually stunning halftime show. The pop star was joined on stage by Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland, reuniting the three vocalists of the since dissolved Destiny’s Child. The Sandy Hook Student Chorus from Newton, Conn. joined Jennifer Hudson in singing ‘America The Beautiful’ prior to the game. Alicia Keys performed the national anthem.
Consistently the most-watched television event every year, the Super Bowl also attracted non-fans in search of the many new commercials that debuted during the game. Additionally, millions of Americans planned viewing parties with elaborate snacks and themes, turning the game into a de facto national holiday.
Flacco was named the game’s most valuable player. He completed 22 of 33 pass attempts for 287 yards and three first-half touchdowns. Ravens 13-time Pro Bowl linebacker Ray Lewis, who announced before the team’s playoff run that he was retiring after this season, collected seven tackles in his final game.
Prior to the half, Flacco’s three scoring passes, including a 56-yard bomb to Jones with 1:45 to play in the second quarter, helped give the Ravens a 21-6 lead at the intermission. The lopsided score gave no indication of the second-half drama about to unfold at the Superdome.
Kaepernick finished with 302 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception. He added another 62 yards rushing. Gore carried 19 times for 110 yards and a score for San Francisco. Crabtree caught five passes for 109 yards and a touchdown, while 49ers’ tight end Vernon Davis had six receptions for 104 yards.
Anquan Boldin had six catches for 104 yards and a score to lead Baltimore.