Super Bowl: Ravens beat 49ers 34-31 in a late-game thriller
The Ravens held off a second half rally by the 49ers to narrowly secure their second Super Bowl. The Ravens led by as much as 22 points, but escaped with a narrow 34-31 victory. The Ravens secured the game after stopping the 49ers in a 4th and goal situation.
Joe Flacco was named the MVP of the game, throwing for nearly 300 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
The game commenced with the 2013 Hall of Fame class being introduced at midfield for the coin toss.
After receiving, San Francisco went three and out on their first drive. Scoring opened with an acrobatic catch by receiver Anquan Boldin after Joe Flacco floated the ball perfectly over the 49er linebacker battery.
Colin Kaepernick came back out and answered on the next drive with a long drive that included a run for a first down and long connections to Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree.
On third down in the red zone, Raven linebacker Paul Kruger busted through the line and brought down Kaepernick for a clutch sack that limited the 49ers to a field goal.
LaMichael James made several moves in an attempt to get outside on a rush, but gets the ball jarred loose by Courtney Upshaw and the Ravens jumped on it.
Baltimore came out and drove most of the field, capped with a Joe Flacco pass to tight end Dennis Pitta to make it 14-3.
Colin Kaepernick was looking for Randy Moss on a crossing route, but threw it high into the lap of safety Ed Reed, who is playing in his home town.
Coach John Harbaugh dialed up a bold and daring play on fourth down with a fake field goal– a direct snap to kicker Justin Tucker. Tucker was able to catch everyone off guard and sprinted to the sideline, but was met by several 49er linebackers short of the first down.
After a 49er three-and-out, Joe Flacco found Jacoby Jones on a 56-yard bomb. Jones had to dive to make the catch, but got up untouched, and shook two 49er defenders to gain the extra yards needed for the touchdown.
Facing an 18 point deficit, the 49ers were able to get into range for kicker David Akers, whose kick narrowed it to a two possession game as time expired for the half.
On the kickoff to start the half, Jacoby Jones tied an NFL record by returning the ball from the very back of the end zone for a 108 yard touchdown.
With the Ravens lead widened to 28-6, the game was interrupted by a 35-minute delay due to a power outage.
Colin Kaepernick led an 80-yard drive through the air and found his favorite target, Michael Crabtree, who was able to pinball off two Raven defenders to get free for a touchdown.
With the score 28-13, the Ravens went three-and-out on the ensuing drive after an untimely drop by Boldin and a sack of Flacco. After a shanked punt, Ted Ginn put the 49ers in scoring position.
Frank Gore then ran behind a well-blocked sweep into the end zone to make it 28-20, putting the 49ers within a score with five minutes left in the third.
On the ensuing drive, running back Ray Rice fumbled near the Ravens 20-yard line to give the 49ers another scoring opportunity. Kaepernick took several shots at the end zone and was unsuccessful. David Akers missed a field goal, but was given another chance after he was run into. Akers capitalized on his second opportunity to make it 28-23.
The Ravens finally answered the rally with a Justin Tucker field goal after a long drive led by Anquan Boldin, who gained long yardage on two short passes.
Colin Kaepernick topped off the following 49ers drive with a 15-yard sprint into the end zone. San Francisco went for a 2-point conversion in an attempt to tie the game but failed.
Baltimore got the ball with ten minutes left in the game holding a narrow two-point lead. Joe Flacco was able to orchestrate a long and methodical drive that milked minutes off the clock, but they were stopped just outside of the red zone and settled for three more points on a kick by Justin Tucker.
With four minutes left and down by five, the 49ers’ only option was a touchdown for the win. Kaepernick connected with Michael Crabtree to get into Raven territory. On the next play, Frank Gore broke out and down the sideline to give the Niners a 1st and goal at the two minute warning.
The Ravens were able to hold the 49ers to make it a 4th and Goal. On the most important play of the game, the Ravens sent the house at Kaepernick, who was forced to make a rushed throw to the back of the end zone at Crabtree. The ball fell incomplete, giving the Ravens the ball back with a minute and a half.
The Ravens milked the clock to 12 seconds and brought out the punt team. Coach John Harbaugh had the punter take a safety in the end zone — a play which took an additional eight seconds off the clock.