Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones (12) celebrates with teammates after returning a kick for a touchdown against the San Francisco 49ers in the third quarter in Super Bowl XLVII. Photo by Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY Sports
By Mike Garafolo, USA TODAY Sports
NEW ORLEANS - When the lights went out on Super Bowl XLVII, Baltimore Ravens cornerback Corey Graham was standing right at midfield, on the 50-yard stripe and in the center of the NFL logo.
Graham threw his hands up into the darkness, as if he knew what that power outage and the 33-minute delay that was about to ensue would mean to his team's momentum. And Graham was right.
Good thing for Graham and his teammates they were able to stave off a furious run from the San Francisco 49ers and, like the lights high above them in the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome, they were re-energized just in time to make a stop on a fourth-and-goal from the 5 to win 34-31 and become Super Bowl champions for the second time in team history.
"How could it be any other way?" Ravens coach John Harbaugh told CBS. " We talk to our guys all the time. It's never pretty, it's never perfect."
As for playing against his brother, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, John said, "It was really hard."
"I told him I loved him," John said of the postgame handshake. "He said congratulations."
Two field goals by rookie kicker Justin Tucker in the fourth quarter provided the only six points the Ravens would get after the delay, as compared to the 23 points the Niners put up. But that's all Baltimore needed thanks to a 28-6 lead provided by Joe Flacco's three touchdown passes and Jacoby Jones' 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the second half.
"We never make it easy, but that's the way the city of Baltimore is," said Flacco, named the game's MVP.
Flacco was 22-for-33 for 287 passing yards.
It was as if only an unforeseen event would stop the Ravens' momentum and Ray Lewis' attempt to end his 17-year career by going out on top.
That event came in the form of the power outage, which halted the Ravens' momentum after defensive end Arthur Jones celebrated his ankle tackle of a sack of Colin Kaepernick that backed the Niners up into a third-and-13 less than two minutes into the second half. It looked bleak for San Francisco, which trailed 28-6 at the time.
The rally then commenced and didn't stop until the Niners made one last push for a go-ahead touchdown as time wound down.
But the Ravens are champs because of a stop on a two-point conversion that could've tied the game after a 15-yard touchdown run by Kaepernick and a perfect back-shoulder throw from Joe Flacco to Anquan Boldin to set up Tucker's second field goal.
The 49ers' "Quest for Six," as the team called it, failed. For the first time, the franchise has felt what it's like to lose a Super Bowl. The Pittsburgh Steelers remain the only team with a half dozen Lombardi Trophies.