Baltimore Ravens hold off 49ers to win Super Bowl 47 (4/2)
Baltimore Ravens survive a second-half fightback from San Francisco 49ers to win Super Bowl 47 in New Orleans.
THE Baltimore Ravens are the NFL champions, winning Super Bowl XLVII after a thrilling fightback by the San Francisco 49ers fell just short.
The game ended 34-31 in favour of the Ravens, who had built up a 22-point lead before a stadium blackout halted proceedings for more than half an hour during the third quarter.
The delay seemed to affect Baltimore’s momentum, with the 49ers scoring the next three touchdowns.
The 49ers had first-and-goal in their final drive, trailing by five points, but quarterback Colin Kaepernick could not connect with a receiver.
So the Ravens, despite not scoring another touchdown, eventually prevailed to give legendary linebacker Ray Lewis the perfect send-off.
The Ravens gave away a safety to run down the clock, making it 34-31, and while San Francisco had one last chance on the subsequent kick-off return, the runner was quickly swallowed up by Ravens tacklers, ending the game as the Baltimore players and staff poured onto the field in celebration.
The lights go out at the New Orleans Super Dome during the third quarter of the Super Bowl. Courtesy: One HD
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was voted the game’s MVP, throwing three first-half touchdown passes, while Jacoby Jones returned the second-half kickoff 108 yards, a Super Bowl record.
Flacco’s superb first half and Jones’ return gave Baltimore a 28-6 lead, and with no team in Super Bowl history having overcome a deficit of more than 10 points, the game looked in the Ravens’ keeping.
But moments later, lights lining the indoor arena faded, making it difficult to see, and the game was stopped.
Beyonce sings Crazy In Love during the halftime show at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. Courtesy: Channel One HD
For 34 minutes the showpiece event was at a halt, with some players sitting by the sideline, others on the field, while some tossed footballs and limbered up. Throughout, the cheerleaders went through their routines.
When action resumed, the momentum in the game suddenly switched. Kaepernick and the 49ers scored 17 consecutive points, getting as close as 31-29.
However, they could not get ahead and lost a Super Bowl for the first time, blemishing their previously perfect 5-0 record and remaining one short of Pittsburgh’s record six titles.
Destiny’s Child reform for Super Bowl show
Beyonce, Kelly Roland and Michelle Williams get the band back together to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show. Courtesy: One HD
The AFC champion Ravens, a franchise that moved from Cleveland to Baltimore 17 years ago, improved to 2-0 in the big game.
They also won the championship in 2001, when Ray Lewis was voted the game’s MVP.
Lewis was not a major factor this time, but he was a center of attention, playing in the final game of his 17-year career.
As well as Lewis, it was a triumph for Baltimore coach John Harbaugh, who got the better of younger brother Jim, who led San Francisco in the first instance of brothers coaching against each other in the Super Bowl.
Still, the older brother didn’t do it without a large dose of anxiety as San Francisco rallied.
First, Kaepernick threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree who turned and got past some lax defense to cut the deficit to 15 points midway through the third quarter.
Then, with 5 minutes left in the third quarter, Frank Gore swept around right end for a 6-yard TD run, making it 28-20.
San Francisco tacked on David Akers’ 34-yard field goal to get within 28-23 after he missed from a longer distance but the Ravens fouled by running into the kicker. It was his third successful kick of the game after hitting from 36 and 27 yards in the first half.
About two minutes into the fourth quarter, rookie kicker Justin Tucker made a 19-yard field goal to stretch the Ravens’ lead to 31-23. Not long later, Kaepernick’s 15-yard run around the left side – the longest TD run by a quarterback in Super Bowl history – made it 31-29. His 2-point conversion pass intended for Randy Moss was incomplete.
Bobbie Williams of the Baltimore Ravens holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after beating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.
A 38-yard field goal by Tucker made it 34-29 with 4:19 left in regulation. Kaepernick and the 49ers drove toward the endzone, but on fourth down, his fade pass toward Crabtree was incomplete, with Jim Harbaugh screaming, to no avail, on the sideline for a holding penalty.
Before the game began, with 100 million or so Americans expected to tune in on TV, a chorus of 26 children from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. – where 20 students and six adults were killed in a shooting rampage in December – sang America the Beautiful, accompanied by American Idol alum Jennifer Hudson.
Grammy winner Alicia Keys performed the national anthem, whileBeyonce put on a stunning show with a reformed Destiny’s Child for the half-time entertainment.