After returning from a 22-point deficit to within two points of the lead, the San Francisco 49ers couldn’t pull off the comeback victory last Sunday in Super Bowl XLVII. The Baltimore Ravens took home the Lombardi Trophy with a 34-31 win for their second Super Bowl victory in the team’s history.
The game took place in the Superdome of New Orleans, Lou., in front of over 71,000 fans. Baltimore scored first, with a touchdown five minutes into the first quarter, and from there the Ravens rode their momentum all the way through the half and beyond. San Francisco scored around the three-minute mark in the first quarter on a 36-yard field goal by kicker David Akers. They finished the first quarter behind 7-3.
With the exception of a solid 49ers defensive play on a Ravens fake field goal attempt, Baltimore dominated the second quarter as well. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw two touchdown passes for a combined total of 57 yards, and Ravens safety Ed Reed picked up the lone interception of the game—also the first interception ever thrown by a San Francisco quarterback in the Super Bowl. The 49ers once again came away from the quarter with just a field goal, a 27-yard kick by Akers with no time left on the clock. The score at halftime was a daunting 21-6.
On the first play after halftime, Baltimore destroyed the 49ers’ hope for a shift in momentum as the Ravens’ Jacoby Jones returned the kickoff for a 108-yard touchdown, the longest play in Super Bowl history. Shortly after the touchdown, a power outage in the Superdome caused half the stadium’s lights to go out and delayed the game for 34 minutes. The extra break renewed San Francisco’s energy, and as power slowly returned to the lights and electronic sideline equipment, the 49ers prepared to come back from the biggest point deficit to ever be conquered in a Super Bowl game.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick brought San Francisco back into the game with a 31-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Michael Crabtree at the 7:20 mark in the third quarter. Less than three minutes later, San Francisco scored again on running back Frank Gore’s six-yard run. A 34-yard field goal by Akers completed the 49ers explosive third quarter scoring run, leaving them down by just five points (28-23) going into the fourth quarter.
After a scoreless post-power outage third quarter, the Ravens were on the board once again in the beginning of the fourth with a 19-yard field goal by kicker Justin Tucker. San Francisco answered with a 15-yard touchdown run by Kaepernick, the longest touchdown run by a quarterback in Super Bowl history. In an effort to tie up the score at 31-31, the 49ers attempted a two-point conversion, but were thwarted by a well-timed blitz by Reed that forced a hurried throw, resulting in an incomplete pass. Baltimore pulled further away from San Francisco’s reach with a 38-yard field goal by Tucker with four minutes remaining.
Down 34-29, the 49ers drove all the way down the field and got to the Ravens five-yard line with just over two minutes left in the game. San Francisco had four chances to convert a five-yard touchdown, but came up short. Crabtree appeared to be held on the fourth down pass from Kaepernick, but no flag was thrown. Baltimore regained possession of the ball at their own five-yard line and ran three straight running plays to take time off the clock. San Francisco used its third and final timeout following the first down run. The 49ers burned their first two timeouts of the half at questionable moments — one was called on what appeared to be a miscommunication between Kaepernick and 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh called the 49ers’ second timeout on the previous series when the play clock was about to expire for a penalty.
On fourth down, the Ravens snapped the ball to punter Sam Koch with less than 15 seconds remaining, but instead of punting the ball away, Koch dodged around the end zone for as long as possible to take time off the clock before finally being forced out of bounds for a safety with four seconds remaining. Koch punted the ball away from Baltimore’s 20-yard line, and running back LaMichael James’ return came up short as time expired. The game was over, and Super Bowl XLVII went to the Baltimore Ravens, 34-31.