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Ravens win Super Bowl

Joe Flacco threw for 287 yards and three touchdowns, Jacoby Jones scored on a 56-yard touchdown reception and a 108-yard kickoff return, and the Ravens held off a furious second-half comeback attempt by the 49ers to win the Super Bowl, 34-31

Future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis ended his prolific 17-year career with a Super Bowl victory, although his Ravens had to overcome a 34 minute power outage at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, as well as 17 unanswered points by the 49ers in the 3rd quarter.

“Baltimore! Baltimore! We’re coming home! We did it!” Lewis yelled from the podium after the game.

The 49ers dug themselves into a 22-point deficit by early in the third quarter, but stormed back in the second half, only to fall 3 points short in a game that was dubbed, “The Harbowl,” because of brothers Jim and John Harbaugh coaching against each other.

Flacco was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after completing 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and 3 touchdowns to three different receivers.  His 11 touchdown passes this playoff season tied Joe Montana for most postseason touchdowns without an interception.

“It’s never pretty, It’s never perfect, but it is us,” said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.

The 49ers opened the game with a 3-and-out, and the Ravens answered quickly, as Flacco threw a 13 yard pass to Anquan Boldin for a touchdown, giving the Ravens a 7-0 lead with 10:36 remaining.

On the next possession the 49ers put together a solid 12-play, 62-yard drive, highlighted by a 24-yard connection from Colin Kaepernick to tight end Vernon Davis. The series ended with a 36-yard David Akers field goal, cutting the lead to 7-3.

San Francisco opened the 2nd quarter with a 55-yard drive, but back-up running back LaMichael James fumbled at the Ravens 25 and Arthur Jones recovered for the Ravens.

Baltimore capitalized on the mistake when Flacco tossed a 1-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Pitta, giving the Ravens a 14-3 lead with 7:10 remaining. 

Kaepernick threw an interception to Ed Reed on the ensuing possession, which gave the safety his 9th postseason interception, tying the NFL record. It was also the first 49ers pick in Super Bowl history.

The 49ers defense clamped down, however, and held the Ravens to a Justin Tucker field goal attempt. The play ended up being a fake in which Tucker ran to his left, but the Niners snuffed it out and regained possession.

The Ravens got the ball back, though, with 2:07 remaining and Flacco threw his third touchdown pass of the half, this time connecting for 56 yards with Jacoby Jones to take a 21-3 lead.

The 49ers got a little moment going into the half as Akers kicked a 27 yard field goal as time expired.

The 3rd quarter opened with a 108 yard kickoff return by Jacoby Jones which tied the NFL record and gave the Ravens a 28-3 lead.

The game was delayed 34 minutes with 13:22 left in the third quarter when the Super Dome suffered a power outage.  San Francisco promptly punted one play after the game returned.  Flacco and the Baltimore offense returned to the field—84 minutes after their last snap—but they picked up only one first down and punted with 10:32 remaining.

On the next possession, Kaepernick drove the 49ers 80 yards and threw a 31 yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree.

After a Ravens 3-and-out and a punt return by Ted Ginn that set up the 49ers at the 20 yard line, Frank Gore ran for a 6-yard touchdown to make the game 28-20, and the momentum seemed to swing entirely in their favor. In addition, Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata injured his knee on the play and did not return.

San Francisco’s Tarell Brown stripped Baltimore running back Ray Rice and recovered the fumble. Akers missed a 39-yard field goal, but a running into the kicker penalty gave him another chance and he converted the 34-yard attempt to cut the Ravens lead to 28-23.

Baltimore added a 19-yard field goal of their own with 12:57 left in the 4th quarter.  But San Francisco answered with yet another drive and Kaepernick ran for a 15 yard touchdown. The 49ers failed to convert the 2-point conversion and the Ravens still lead 31-29.

The Ravens offense wasn’t done yet either, thought, and Tucker hit a 38-yard field to extend the Baltimore lead to 34-29. 

The 49ers got the ball back with 4:19 remaining in the game.  They drove all the way down to the 5-yard line, but the Ravens defense held and gave the ball back to the offense with 1:46 left. Facing a second and goal from the 5, San Francisco ran three consecutive pass plays, including a controversial non-call on a possible defensive holding penalty on fourth down.

The Ravens took over at the 5 with 1:42 remaining. They ran three straight times inside their own 10 and took a safety with 4 seconds remaining, to allow themselves a free kick. Ted Ginn returned the kick 15 yards to midfield to end the game.

The Ravens were the first team to reach the Super Bowl and not finish in the top 15 in total offense or defense. It is also their first Super Bowl since 1999 against the New York Giants. They also handed the 49ers their first Super Bowl loss ever.

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