Blowout to blackout to shootout: The Baltimore Ravens prevail in Super Bowl XLVII
In their previous Super Bowl, the Baltimore Ravens ousted the Giants 34–7. A similar story loomed over Super Bowl XLVII as the record-setting Joe Flacco and the Ravens topped the San Francisco 49ers.
The Superdome lights blacked out with no warning during the third quarter. After an agonizing 34-minute delay, the 49ers fought back to cut into their deficit.
Without a doubt, the game went from blowout to blackout and finally to shootout.
In a sensational 34–31 thriller, the Baltimore Ravens fended off the 49ers’ comeback and lifted the Lombardi trophy for the second time in team history.
The victory didn’t come in style and it wasn’t elegant or easy.
“How could it be any other way,” said Head Coach John Harbaugh on ESPN. “It’s never pretty. It’s never perfect. … It speaks to our resolve, speaks to our determination.”
Behind red-hot Joe Flacco, the Ravens never trailed in this game. Flacco’s 287 yards and three touchdowns lifted him to the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player.
Jacoby Jones stunned the 49ers’ defense with arguably two of the greatest Super Bowl plays: a 52-yard touchdown catch and a record-tying 108-yard kickoff return.
“When he caught the ball, you could see it in his eyes,” said Raven’s sports medic Pratik Patel during a phone interview with the Guilfordian. “There was only one place he was headed.”
After the sudden power outage, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick counterattacked with a 15-yard touchdown dash.
“(Kaepernick is) like a Michael Vick: a young, explosive talent. Only less prone to injury,” said Phillip Collier, sophomore offensive lineman.
Kaepernick looked on par to cap off an unbelievable season with a Super Bowl ring. In the final two minutes, the 49ers needed just 7 yards to seize the lead.
The Ravens once again proved capable of finding the winning formula just when people started to count them out.
“It’s almost like they can find a hero, a game-changer, to deliver them,” said Marvin Wells, a Ravens fan.
In a do-or-die defensive stand, the Ravens came up clutch. Led by veterans Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, the defense denied the 49ers a score on four consecutive attempts.
Many believe that it was Baltimore’s destiny to win. A Super Bowl ring is due credit to Flacco’s coming of age, a welcome homecoming for Ed Reed and a fitting end to a 17-year career for Ray Lewis.
Described as the epitome of physical dominance and leadership, Lewis has battled countless injuries and performance-enhancing drug charges.
“The adversity that that man has faced — everything from murder charges to injuries … there’s leadership there,” said Guilford’s Head Football Coach Chris Rusiewicz.
It was not long ago that Baltimore appeared to be faltering out of playoff contention. Sunday, the same locker room soared atop the football world.
When Ray Lewis hangs up his boots and sits down with his children, he will have quite a story to tell. And at the end of it all, he can top it off with a cherry: his storybook finish.