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Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; Baltimore Ravens free safety Ed Reed (20) celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

2013 Super Bowl: The Lights go out in New Orleans

In the wake of the 34 minute delay with 12 + minutes left in the third, will the lights ever shine brighter than they did when the transformer failed at the Superdome?  The Ravens were in full control of the game at the time of the power outage, but that was the second of the night.   The first was the 49ers offense which had accumulated only 6 points on 2 field goals though the first half.  Baltimore on the other hand was scoring touchdowns in bunches.  First was Flacco to Boldin in the back of the end zone for 13yards and 7 points, but Joe was only getting started.   With 7:10 left in the second Flacco connected for his second touchdown to Dennis Pitta at the 1.  He then found Jacoby Jones for a 56 yards touchdown, thanks to some fancy footwork by his receiver.   Jones then started the third with a 109 yard punt return for a touchdown and was on his way the Superbowl MVP.

Still you couldn’t count out the 49’ers.  Not after the miraculous performance of Colin Kaepernick, and he wouldn’t let his fans down as he found Michael Crabtree for a 31 yard score with his trademark speed and accuracy leading his team to an 80 yard drive with 7:20 left in third only to score another touchdown only 2 minutes 21 seconds later.  Finally we had a game.  That surge of power was blasted from the lights right into the hearts of the 49er players.  They were playing with an electricity and intensity where all the momentum was turning in their favor.  Then the dagger… Rice fumbles the ball.  The invigorated Ravens were now flat and lifeless.  The Niners still down 8 needed to do something when Ravens DB Carey Williams deflects a possible touchdown for Ted Ginn.  Akers who had 2 completed field goals already misses, but the play comes back on a penalty.  He then completes his second chance to make it a 5 point game.

The fourth quarter immediately starts with a field goal for Baltimore to make the score 31 to 23.  The 49’ers waste no time as Colin Kaepernick runs in for a 15yard touchdown.  Only down 2 and mathematically eliminated, Jim Harbaugh calls for a 2 point conversion that failed thanks to a great defensive call by his brother.  This was turning out to be a game of wits by both men as they toiled through their playbooks searching for a way to put this game away.  The Ravens would add another field goal, and with 4:19 left in the fourth kicked off the 49’ers started their drive.  On first down Kaepernick throws to Vernon Davis on the sideline and misses him by inches.  Kaep later hands off to Gore for a monster gain down the left hand sideline for 31 yards.  The two minute warning sounds with the 49’rers in the goaline.  At 3rd and goal with 1:55 to play Kaepernick throws to Michael Crabtree for an incompletion.   On 4th down The San Francisco 49’ers throw a lob back to Crabtree in the right side of the end zone with Jimmy Smith and Ed Reed on the coverage that misses his target by a yard.  The football gods had spoken.  It was only a matter of time now before Baltimore would run out the clock and waste it down to 11 seconds.  With the advantage in favor, the Ravens purposely allow a safety to make the score 34-31.  The Ravens kick the free kick for the last play of the game.  Ted Ginn made a valiant effort in bringing it back to the 50, but it wasn’t meant to be.  The Baltimore Ravens would walk away champions with their quarterback Joe Flacco winning the Superbowl MVP.  Flacco threw for 287 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions.  Anquan Boldin finished with 6 receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown, while Ray Rice managed 59 yards on 20 carries and 4 receptions for 19 yards.

This game will answer the questions as to whether Flacco was an elite level quarterback.  With the confetti streaming down, the Ravens watch their leader on the field walk away from the game after 17 seasons and redefining how to play the linebacker position in today’s NFL.  Lewis wins his second Superbowl and goes out the way most kids dream, on top of the world.  When asked how do you describe it by Jim Nantz, Lewis says “When God is for you, who could be against ya? It’s not greater way …to go out on your last ride than with my teammates.”  His indelible mark on football can be seen in the way defense is played on all 32 NFL teams, and the league may not see a player of his caliber for generations to come.

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