By Gregory Davis, Sports Editor
In a game that many will refer to as the “Blackout Bowl” for years to come, the Baltimore Ravens came just a few yards away from surrendering the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, but the San Francisco 49ers were unable to complete the job with a final score of 34–31. Just in case you tuned out at the blackout (or before) here’s a recap.
It was all Ravens from the very start of the first half. Joe Flacco was firing on all cylinders while Colin Kaepernick was struggling to put a substantial drive together. The Ravens drove 51 yards on six plays and Flacco found Anquan Boldin in the end zone to get Baltimore on the scoreboard first.
While the 49ers settled for just two field goals in the first half, Joe Flacco threw three touchdown passes, including a 56-yard bomb to Jacoby Jones. The teams went to their respective locker rooms with the Ravens in the lead 21–6.
All hopes of a 49er comeback seemed thwarted when Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones opened up the second half with a 108-yard kick return for a touchdown. But after a half-hour delay due to a power outage in the Mercedes Super Dome, the tide quickly turned.
After Kaepernick was unable to convert on a 3rdand long, the 49ers’ defense looked better than it did all game, stopping the Ravens’ drive before it got started. Kaepernick then drove his team 80 yards in 7 plays and topped off the drive with a momentum swinging 31-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree.
The 49ers followed that up with a 6-yard touchdown run from Frank Gore and a 34-yard field goal from David Akers to cut the once 22-point deficit to just five.
But Joe Flacco did not allow his team to fold under the pressure of potentially watching its 22-point lead become a deficit. He led his team 71 yards down the field to set up a 19-yard chip shot from Justin Tucker to put the Ravens up by 8.
After Kaepernick responded with a 15-yard touchdown run of his own — accompanied by a missed 2-point conversion — to bring the 49ers back within 2, Flacco led his team on a clutch drive once again that ended in a field goal.
The stage was set; a 5-point game with 4:19 remaining in the Super Bowl. It was up to Colin Kaepernick to take his team downfield for a touchdown to take the lead.
With clutch passes, well-timed rushes and a crucial completion to Michael Crabtree, Kaepernick got his team inside the 10-yard line. After a rush for a short gain and three incomplete passes — one of which was accompanied by a debatable defensive holding that the referees did not call — the 49ers’ offense could not punch it in.
As miraculous as the 49ers’ resilience and near comeback was, it was not enough to give them the honor of hoisting the Lombardi trophy. Instead, the silver statue belongs to the Baltimore Ravens, who were just yards away from the worst Super Bowl meltdown of all time.