Joe Flacco to heed to Ray Lewis’ words last season and thanked him with the ultimate going away gift.
Super Bowl XLVII will be talked about for a long time. What started out as a Baltimore Ravens 28-6 romp turned into a near comeback for all times. Beyonce played her part by giving a halftime show so high-powered, it knocked out the juice in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
The delay lasted about 35 minutes. It proved to be what the 49ers needed to keep my itis from accelerating. The Ravens lead was cut to 31-29. A no-call on fourth down ended the Niners near-historic comeback. The Ravens would win their second Super Bowl in a 34-31 thriller.
No one’s laughing at Joe Flacco anymore.
Since he was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens five years ago, Flacco has been a shotgun passenger on a team filled with defensive standouts. Each time the Ravens were outsted in the postseason, the buck stopped at Flacco. This season was different as Flacco became more assertive and by time the playoffs rolled around, he was prepared to make amends for his past failures.
Flacco was 22 for 33 for 289 yards and three first half touchdowns. His postseason total was 11 touchdown passes with no interceptions. Flacco was named Super Bowl XLVII MVP.
On a play indicative of the team’s success, Flacco was flushed out to his right and heaved a pass downfield — which looked to be headed out-of-bounds. Anquan Boldin (8 rec. 104 yards) never lost sight of the pass and hauled it in for a 30 yard gain. A few plays later, Flacco would connect with Boldin for the game’s first score on their opening drive.
Flacco’s other two touchdowns were to Jacoby Jones and tight end Dennis Pitta. Jones so wide open on his scoring reception, but Flacco had underthrown the route. Jones came back for the ball and fell down. He was able to juke and pirouette his way around two 49er defenders for the improbable score.
Jones landed what appeared to be the haymaker the Ravens were looking for when he took the second half kickoff 108 yards for the score. About 90 seconds later you could hear color man Phil Simms’ mic cut off in mid-sentence and the lights in the stadium dimmed. For 35 minutes the teams did what they could to stay mentally and physically sharp.
For Baltimore, momentum went out with the lights.
The 49ers came out the extended timeout like a new team, 28-6 became 28-13. Before you knew it the Niners were back in the game and looking to take it over. Colin Kaepernick rebounded from a critical first half interception to get the Niners to the doorstep of the championship. If Kaepernick was shaky early on, he made up for it in his second half performance. He passed for 302 yards, a touchdown and the aforementioned interception. He added 62 yards on 7 rushes, including a 15-yard touchdown run for a score. It was the longest run by a quarterback for a touchdown in the Super Bowl. A surprising statistic.
With the Ravens clinging to a 34-29 lead, the Niners were well within the means to score the go-ahead touchdown. The Ravens defense forced a fourth down and five. Kaepernick pass to Michael Crabtree (5 rec., 109 yards, TD) sailed out of bounds despite what looked to be excessive contact by Crabtree and the Ravens defender.
Ray Lewis exits the game a two-time Super Bowl champion.
With the game clock at 0:00, purple and gold confetti rained down like a Maryland country storm. In its midst stood a triumphant warrior soaked in his moment of glory. Ray Lewis had little impact on yesterday’s outcome. He passed the driver’s seat off to Joe Flacco to finish the exhausting trip. Lewis was finally able to enjoy the view on his last ride.
Ray Lewis said he came back for his teammates. Yesterday, his teammates held on and won for him.