Monday, February 04, 2013

BALTIMORE RAVENS HELD OFF ELECTRIC SURGE AND BEAT SAN FRANCISCO 49ers TO WIN SECOND BREATHTAKING SUPER BOWL TROPHY IN ELEVEN YEARS

                                                           
Read all about it: Linebacker Ray Lewis celebrates the Ravens' Super Bowl victory, holding a copy of freshly printed local newspaper declaring them as 'World Champions'
The Ravens survived the frenzied comeback by the 49ers for a thrilling 34-31 win at the Superdome on Sunday night and their second NFL championship in 11 years.

The lights went out in New Orleans, but the Baltimore Ravens held off an electric surge from the San Francisco 49ers to win a breathtaking Super Bowl XLVII.
MVP Joe Flacco looked every inch an elite quarterback, completing 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards, with three touchdowns and no interceptions to cap a perfect post-season.
Glamorous: Torrey Smith celebrates with the cheerleaders
                                                      
Veteran linebacker Ray Lewis rode off into the sunset with a second Super Bowl ring and John Harbaugh emerged victorious over younger brother Jim with an incredible ‘Harbowl’ victory.

You angel: Ravens defensive back Chykie Brown celebrates his team's glory in Louisiana
                                        
Score: Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta catches a touchdown pass in front of San Francisco 49ers safety Donte WhitnerLeading by 22 points when most of the Superdome lights and the scoreboards went dark early in the third quarter, the Ravens used a last-gasp defensive stand to hold on after the momentum strangely swung to the 49ers. San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree was bumped in the end zone on the 49ers' final offensive play -- the contact appeared incidental -- but coach Jim Harbaugh insisted a penalty should have been called.

"There's no question in my mind that there was a pass interference and then a hold," Jim Harbaugh said.
                                                                                                            
As for the foul-up at America's biggest sporting event, officials revealed that an "abnormality" in the power system triggered an automatic shutdown, forcing backup systems to kick in. But no one was sure what caused the initial problem.
                                 Challenge: Pierce of the Baltimore Ravens is tackled by Dashon Goldson                          
Everything changed after that, though, until Ray Lewis and Co. shut it down. But there were plenty of white-knuckle moments and the Ravens (14-6) had to make four stops inside their 7 at the end.

 
In a display of poise in the pocket and unerring down field accuracy, Flacco had inspired the Ravens to a 21-6 half-time lead with touchdowns from standout receiver Anquan Boldin, tight end Dennis Pitta and Jacoby Jones.


And after receiver Jones returned the second half kick-off for 108-yards – the longest ever in a Super Bowl – to make it 28-6, a blowout appeared on the cards.


Indeed it was, as half of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome was plunged into darkness for 34 minutes.
                                                       

Lights out: Half of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome was plunged into darkness after a sudden power cut
Suddenly galvanized by the unexpected delay, the Niners shrugged off an uneven, ill-disciplined first-half display, posting 17 points in just under four-and-a-half minutes.


In just his 10th NFL start, second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick – who threw for 302 yards and a touchdown while running for 62 yards and another score - was magnificent, taking the game by the scruff of the neck.

After hitting receiver Michael Crabtree from 31 yards for the Red and Gold’s first touchdown of the game, the second came three minutes later.

Running back Frank Gore went over from six yards, thanks to tight end Delaine 
                                                         
Walker’s incredible block on veteran free safety Ed Reed.

And following a fumble from Ravens running back Ray Rice, David Akers’ retaken field goal slashed the deficit to five points.


Visibly rattled, the Ravens took a 31-22 lead after rookie kicker Justin Tucker’s field goal, but a 15-yard touchdown dash from Kaepernick – the longest by a quarterback in Super Bowl history – made it a two-point game after a failed two-point conversion attempt.

Closing the gap: Kaepernick runs for a 15-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter as San Francisco launched a brilliant comeback
                                                                    
Another Tucker field goal extended the Ravens’ advantage and after taking an intentional safety with four seconds remaining, the Ravens’ aging defense staged one final hurrah to hand Lewis the perfect retirement present. 
                                                     
Battle of the brothers: 49ers boss Jim Harbaugh (left) congratulates his brother, Ravens head coach John
Widely regarded as one of the game’s greatest linebackers, with 13 Pro-Bowl selections, ten All-Pro selections, two-time Defensive Player of the Year, two Super Bowl rings and a Super Bowl MVP, the inspirational Lewis is a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame.

Champions: Running back Bernard Pierce celebrates after the 34-31 win in New Orleans
                                                                          
Grasping the Lombardi Trophy, the 37-year old said: ‘It's simple: When God is for you, who can be against you?’

Fate: Ray Lewis ended his distinctive career in the best possible way
                                                                         
‘It's no greater way, as a champ, to go out on your last ride with the men that I went out with, with my teammates. And you looked around this stadium and... Baltimore! Baltimore! We coming home, baby! We did it!’

At 4 hours, 14 minutes, it was the longest Super Bowl ever.

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