In what may go down as the most memorable Super Bowl in history, the Baltimore Ravens hoist the Lombardi trophy.
Behind Joe Flacco, Jacoby Jones, and a relentless defense, the Ravens held off a late rally to win the Super Bowl 34-31. A wild bonanza unfolded in the Superdome, ultimately stamping the game as being worthy of its’ title.
After the pregame festivities, the Niners came out flat. They punted on their first series, and Baltimore drove down the field methodically. Joe Flacco lofted a pass to Anquan Boldin for the opening score.
After San Francisco answered with a field goal, Flacco gunned the ball to Dennis Pitta for the score. A 14-3 lead stood before the 49ers, and Colin Kaepernick’s interception did not help matters. On the first play of the drive, he overthrew a receiver and sent it straight into the hands of the defense.
Baltimore got down near the redzone, but was held to 4th and nine. John Harbaugh, former Eagles ST Coordinator, dialed up a beauty. He called a Ross Tucker fake FG run that ended up a yard short.
Later, with about three minutes left in the half, Joe Flacco hit Jacoby Jones deep for a 60 yard TD bomb. Jones got up off the turf and eluded the last man to score. The Niners would hit a David Akers FG to end the half, down 21-6.
Any San Francisco hope of gaining momentum halted, as Jacoby Jones took the 2nd half kickoff 108 yards for a 28-6 lead.
What followed was the most obscure incident in Super Bowl history. On the Niners next drive, a power outage occurred lasting a half hour. The break allowed the 49ers to break up momentum, and reset the emotional balance beam. After the break, the two teams traded punts, and the Niners rattled off on a tear. Colin Kaepernick drove down the field and hooked up with Michael Crabtree for 31 yards. He then took the team down the field to score with a Frank Gore six yard run.
On the ensuing drive, a Ravens fumble gave the Niners the ball again. The team traded FGs, and the Niners scored on a Kaepernick 15 yard run in the 4th to make it 31-29. The Ravens hit a FG later to make it 34-29, and the Niners had one last chance.
One of the greatest goalline stands in SB history saved the lead. On a questionable 4th and goal, a Ravens defender contacted Michael Crabtree mid-route. The ball was overthrown, and no foul was called. The Ravens would later give up a safety to kill time, and the Niners could not take the kickoff-the game’s final play-into the end zone. For the second time in 12 years, the Ravens stood as NFL Champions. Joe Flacco was named MVP, going 22-33 for 287 yards and three TDs.
In 60 minutes, America saw a fantastic halftime show, a blackout, lead changes, gutsy coaching decisions, and a Hollywood goalline stand. For the neutral fan, this will stand as the greatest Super Bowl ever.
Oh, and by the way, Juan Castillo has a Super Bowl ring. Miracles do happen, and who knows? God may have the 2013 Eagles in his Lombardi trophy plans.