The difference in scoring in the first half was turnovers. The Niners led the Ravens in that category 2-0, and two scores separated the two teams at the half.
After Beyonce’ repeated the same lyrics 100 times, the second half was underway.
The Ravens had won the toss, deferred, and received the kick to open the second half.
Eleven seconds later, Jacoby Jones had put 6 on the board with a Super Bowl record 109-yard kickoff return. The one area I had said in the piece I wrote earlier today where the Ravens had the edge was in special teams, especially Jacoby Jones. He had 2 kickoff returns for TDs during 2012 and 1 punt return TD.
Ravens 28, Niners 6.
Kaepernick started San Francisco’s opening drive from the 17 yard line as their kickoff return was stuffed well inside the 20. After a nice 20-something yard completion, this was the night the lights went out in Louisiana.
That’s what happened, anyway. More than half the banks of floodlights in the Superdome went dark for some unknown reason. We all simply saw the camera panning upward, showing dimmed lights. Steve Tasker got on and let us know Jim Nantz wasn’t on because “half of the power went out” in the stadium.
Yes, the power and lights in the majority of the Superdome was gone for the better part of an hour. CBS even put up a digital clock timer counting up how long the delay was. It appears this particular Super Bowl has more than its’ share of firsts and not all of them were the sort of firsts the NFL was looking for!
I suppose it’s no coincidence the problem was on the 49’ers side of the field with the game going the way it is.
Play finally resumed after about a 35 minute delay. For what it’s worth, Kaepernick completed a short pass on 3rd and 13 but not nearly far enough to move the chains and they had to punt.
After the touchback punt, the Ravens began their initial post-blackout drive but they had to punt as well.
I suppose this makes perfect sense, seeing as how the defenses were sooooo well-rested from halftime and the scrubs did all the running on the kickoff return TD, so everyone was fresh for when the lights did come back on.
Kaepernick wound up tossing a 39-yard TD pass to Michael Crabtree after the latter dropped a long pass down the right sideline earlier in the drive and burned a timeout on the drive.
Ravens 28, Niners 13.
The Ravens couldn’t get out of the shadow of their own endzone and punted. The punter hit a very poor kick and Ted Ginn, Jr. was able to field it on a hop, reverse his field, and got it down to the 20 yard line. Vernon Davis went over 100 receiving yards on the next play with a 14-yard catch to the 6. Gore took a handoff in a misdirection play to the end zone for 6 on the following play.
So far, the power outage has completely changed the momentum of the game in favor of the Niners.
Ravens 28, Niners 20.
The Ravens then fumbled the ball away on their own 25 yard line with the Niners recovering it.
The Harbaugh family had to be feeling edgy at these proceedings. Could things get any stranger?
Uhh….yes. They could, and they did.
San Francisco kicker David Akers pushed a 39-yard FG attempt to the left, missing the try and extending his year-long struggle, but the Ravens got flagged for running into the kicker. It wasn’t enough for a first down, but allowed Akers another try from 5 yards closer. He split the uprights on his 34-yard attempt.
Ravens 28, Niners 23.
The Ravens finally got their offense moving – without the help of “Leon Sandcastle” – and got into the red zone for the first time since the Great Power Smite. They couldn’t get into he end zone and settled for a 19-yard field goal.
Ravens 31, Niners 23.
San Francisco went on the march again from their own 23 and got to the red zone on their next possession. At the 15 yard line, Colin Kaepernick decided he was going to run the thing in and went down the left sideline and easily into the end zone to pull his team within 2.
The 2-point conversion failed.
Ravens 31, Niners 29.
The Ravens then set out to eat up clock while driving for hopefully (for the Ravens) a touchdown or a field goal at minimum. They did eat up a good part of the clock on a 5 minute drive but it stalled out and they settled for a field goal.
Ravens 34, Niners 28.
Now it was the Niners’ turn for trying the same thing. A long TD drive with little time left would be perfect.
Frank Gore broke open a 33-yard run down to the 7 on about the 5th play of the drive, taking the clock to the 2 minute warning. 4th and goal from the 5 saw the Ravens bring the house. Kaepernick was forced to throw the ball immediately and despite what appeared to be defensive holding on CB Jimmy Smith, there was no flag thrown as the pass fell out of Crabtree’s reach, incomplete.
Ravens 34, Niners 31
It was yet another controversy on the most bizarre night of Super Bowl action in the history of the game. Toss in the “voluntary” safety after the Ravens ran out all but 14 seconds on the clock along with blatant holding by their offensive line that went uncalled (and unannounced), and we COULD have a bit of another scandal regarding the officiating. It was simply awful in the last part of this ball game.
The Ravens punted from their own 20 yard line with 4 seconds left.
Ted Ginn couldn’t run it back for a touchdown and the storybook season ended with a Super Bowl victory for Baltimore and Ray Lewis gets sent into retirement with another ring.