Ravens Send Lewis off on Top (Super Bowl XLVII Review)

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It was the Harbowl or the last time we would see Ray Lewis play or even the first of a long and storied history of a young QB or the final step of a QB looking for respect.  Super Bowl XLVII was packed with stories as the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers would face off in New Orleans to determine a Champion. It was a matchup between two brothers, Jim and John Harbaugh, for family bragging rights and the ultimate prize in their profession. It was also the last game that 17 year NFL veteran Ray Lewis would play as he would try to go out on the top of the league to add to his hall of fame qualifications. It was also the first time that Colin Kaepernick would step into the Super Bowl spotlight after only 9 starts in the NFL with plenty to show that he could be the next great QB. There was also the other QB, Joe Flacco who had regularly been forgotten when talking about the best in the league and was looking to finally step into the spotlight. There was all of this going into the game but none of that would matter when they would kick off as two teams would go head to head for the biggest accomplishment in the NFL. The beginning of the game would seem to be the start of a terrible game as the Ravens would go ahead 14-6 in the first half. It was a game that the San Francisco 49ers did not seem prepared for as they were clearly out of their element. The Ravens defence would shut down everything the Niners attempted and the Ravens offence would take advantage of the risk taking secondary of San Francisco. The Ravens were in complete control of the game and it seemed to be over before the half. Then the second half would start and almost immediately the Ravens seemed to put the dagger into the Niners hopes of winning their 6th Super Bowl. On the opening kickoff of the second half Jacoby Jones would run 109 yards for a TD putting the Ravens ahead 21-3 and essentially ending the hopes for the 49ers. Then something that will go down in the books as one of the strongest events in Super Bowl History would change everything. Out of nowhere the lights in one half of the stadium would go out for a total of 34 minutes essentially giving the 49ers a second half time to figure things out after the kick return took the wind out of their sails. When the lights finally came back on the Niners seemed to have a new life as they would shut down the Ravens in their first offensive drive. The Niners would then begin a big drive down the field that would be capped off by a Colin Kaepernick TD pass to Michael Crabtree. Then the Niners would shut down the Ravens again and again the offence would score with Frank Gore running in another TD. The score would be 20-28 as the Niners were right back in the game and all of a sudden seemed to be on track for a massive comeback. The Ravens next drive would end in the worst way possible as a pass to Ray Rice would end in a Ray Rice fumble recovered by the Niners. After the fumble the Niners would kick a field goal that would be answered by the Ravens making the score 31-23 heading into the 4th quarter. In the first drive of the fourth Colin Kaepernick would run in a for a TD and would fail to convert the two point conversion making the score 31-29 for the Ravens. It seemed as the Niners were looking like a team on their way to a massive comeback. With time running down the Niners had one last chance to get ahead as they would march down the field and inside the ten with four plays to win. The Niners couldn’t complete it coming very close but never getting the ball into the endzone. In the end the Ravens would come out on top as the Niners would come up just short of an amazing comeback and would go home empty-handed.

The Ravens took home their second Super Bowl since the team moved to Baltimore in 1999 but more importantly they would give their emotional leader a great send off. Ray Lewis had announced that this would be his last season before the playoffs began. It would change the Ravens from a team who lost 4 of their last 5 games in the regular season to a team of destiny. Throughout the playoffs Ray Lewis would remain one of the main reasons to play harder than ever for all of the Ravens. As they approached the Super Bowl the Ravens were looking to send Ray Lewis out with his second Super Bowl ring. He would get that Super Bowl ring and would create yet another reason from him to be a first ballot hall of famer when he becomes eligible. With Ray Lewis gone next season a lot of the focus would turn to Joe Flacco who will be without a contract for next season and looking to become a true leader on the Ravens. Flacco had always been a player on the outside of the top QBs in the league but the playoff run would cement him as one of the better QBs in the league. The Super Bowl win would go even further as he would become a Super Bowl MVP and immediately become a new hero in the Purple and Black. Not only would he take over a leadership role but he gave fuel to his contract negotiations next year as the Ravens will find it hard to not sign a Super Bowl winning QB although they have done it before. The Ravens will go into next year as the defending champions and will remain Super Bowl XLVII champions for the rest of their lives. For the 49ers they will be forgotten as the losing team but they do have promise. With Colin Kaepernick likely to take over the full-time starting role next year the team will be more complete and they are all still young. Don’t expect the Niners to go away anytime soon as a new power in the NFC is likely emerging. The NFL has their latest champion after a long and strange season as the Baltimore Ravens are the latest to bring the Vince Lombardi home.

 

Super Bowl XLVII:
Baltimore Ravens 34 – 31 San Francisco 49ers

Super Bowl MVP:

02_ws_trophyshow_020313-L

Joe Flacco, QB (Baltimore Ravens)
22/33 cmp
287 yds
3 TD
0 INT

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