Ravens hold off 49ers' rally to win Super Bowl
In this town, never doubt the Poe Boys.
The Ravens take their name from Baltimore native Edgar Allan Poe's ornithological poem, and Super Bowl XLVII turned into a spooky tale of its own, complete with a blackout and a chilling attempt at a comeback. Combine that with the craziness New Orleans is known for and you had one of the most memorable Super Bowls in history.
Despite letting a seemingly insurmountable 28-6 lead in the third quarter bleed away to two by the middle of the fourth, the Ravens held on to beat the 49ers, 34-31, last night to win their second Super Bowl. They never lost their nerve, and they never lost their lead.
"We don't make it easy," Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco said after the game. "That's the way the city of Baltimore is. That's the way we are."
For the 49ers, it was their first Super Bowl loss in six appearances. The Ravens won their only other championship game, over the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV.
Afterward, the head coaches, brothers John and Jim Harbaugh, shared a brief and unemotional handshake at midfield.
"I told him I loved him," John Harbaugh said. "He said congratulations."
Justin Tucker's 38-yard field goal with 4:14 left gave the Ravens a 34-29 lead, meaning the 49ers needed a touchdown. They drove inside the 10 in the final minutes, but on fourth-and-goal from the 5, Colin Kaepernick threw a fade pass into the end zone for Michael Crabtree that sailed out of bounds with 1:46 remaining. Jimmy Smith and Ed Reed were in coverage on the play.
Ravens punter Sam Koch wisely burned 7 seconds running around the end zone before taking a safety with 4 seconds left. The Ravens kicked to the 49ers, but Ted Ginn Jr. could return it only to midfield as the confetti guns exploded.
"It's no greater way, as a champ, to go out on your last ride with the men that I went out with," said Ravens lineback Ray Lewis, who announced before the playoffs that he would retire following the season.
The 49ers' best drive of the first half was humming along with two passes to tight end Vernon Davis for 40 yards -- Lewis couldn't keep up with him -- and two 8-yard runs by LaMichael James. A third run was stuffed, though, and worse yet for the 49ers, Courtney Upshaw forced a fumble that was recovered by Arthur Jones.
The Ravens took that take-away and drove for a second touchdown, a 2-yard play-action pass to Dennis Pitta, for a 14-3 lead midway through the second.