The Ravens Fly High on Super Bowl Sunday
Published: Friday, February 8, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 17, 2013 17:02
As expected, the Ray Lewis farewell tour came to a dramatic finish Sunday night. Now the real party can begin. Neither a power outage nor the efforts of Colin Kaepernick could derail Lewis from destiny, as the Ravens held out against a second half onslaught, accepting both crown and scepter as the rulers of the NFL universe, in a 34-31 victory. In a matchup hyped for two weeks as both the final game of Lewis’s career as well as one which would feature two brothers as opposing coaches for the first time in Super Bowl history, both Lewis and the Harbaughs were relatively quiet throughout Sunday evening’s contest. With neither the big play coming from Lewis or a coaching gaffe, the game was ultimately decided by hard-nosed play, blood, grit, and guts. The team that emerged victorious at the end of sixty minutes was not surprisingly the team that played the toughest, the team that overcame the adversity of firing an offensive coordinator in midseason, the team that survived two road playoff games in hostile environments, and the team that was able to hold Colin Kaepernick at bay just long enough.
The Ravens always come prepared for a fight, and in this came out swinging, scoring on their opening possession of the first quarter. Although the Niners were quick to respond, netting a field goal in their next possession, Baltimore dominated the pace of play and in turn the 49ners. Joe Flacco, continuing his postseason transformation from a Mark Sanchez clone into the second coming of Broadway Joe, held it together on Football’s biggest stage, sparking the Baltimore offense in a 21 point first half, 21 points which all resulted from Flacco touchdown passes. Surprisingly, it was Kaepernick, not Flacco, who struggled to find his sea legs as the Baltimore defense prevented him from settling into a groove. A dangerous threat both on the ground and in the air since he replaced Alex Smith as San Francisco’s starting quarterback, Kaepernick was grounded, unable to spark The Niners’ offense with either his legs or arm, as he was off target for a number of incompletions right out of the gate, as San Francisco struggled to move the chains on third down. An interception thrown by Kaepernick midway through the second quarter would prove merely anecdotal in the game as a whole, as The Ravens were unable to come away with any points, but nevertheless highlighted the extent to which The 49ners struggled during the first half. A David Akers field goal at the end of the half kept the 49ers in the game, but the game at this juncture was far from in doubt. If anything, victory for the Ravens was ensured, but then the power went out.
Mere minutes into the third quarter, following Beyoncé’s high voltage halftime show, power was lost in about half of the Mercedes Benz Super Dome, postponing play for 34 minutes. Although it is unclear as to whether or not the artist known as Sasha Fierce contributed to the third quarter power outage, the reasons for such a bizarre occurrence have yet to be specified. Whether it was Beyoncé, Gentleman Goodell, or Nosferatu toggling with the switches, any and all such speculation is, however, speculation. What does matter is that following the delay, the Raven’s seemingly experienced a power outage, of their own, as the 49ners surged and threatened to take over the game. The 49ners scored on all three of their possessions following the power outage, outgaining The Ravens by well over a hundred yards and capitalizing on sloppy play, converting a Baltimore fumble into three points, outgaining the Ravens by well over a hundred yards.
Awakened from their slumbers and finally arriving at the game, The 49ners and The Ravens traded scores in their first two possessions in the final frame of the game. Punched in the face, The Ravens finally responded by sustaining a drive which carried over from the third quarter. Although Baltimore settled for a field goal, Justin Tucker’s nineteen yard chip shot put the Ravens out ahead by eight, making it that much more difficult for San Francisco. San Francisco, would not back down, with Kaepernick marching his team once again down the field, going 76 yards on a drive that lasted just under three minutes. Following a failed two point conversion attempt, the Niners were within two points and the momentum of the game had shifted entirely from The Ravens to the 49ners. Just as the game had seemed to fall out of the hands of Baltimore, Joe Flacco dug deep, held onto the game, and secured it for The Ravens. Flacco, along with the ground game of Ray