And with that, the 2012-13 NFL season is over. Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens. They are Super Bowl champions. The Stack is here today with plenty of reaction from the Super Bowl and the commercials so let's get right to it and see what's in "the stack" for today, Monday, February 4:
Ravens 34 49ers 31
The Baltimore Ravens have won Super Bowl XLVII. In one of the strangest Super Bowls you will ever watch, the Ravens came up with a goal line stand that was the signature moment of the actual physical game and was the reason the Ravens won 34-31.
The Ravens dominated the game in the first half. The 49ers offense was out of synch for much of the first. The Ravens offense wasn't. Joe Flacco was tremendous, throwing three first half touchdowns. He was on target with the majority of his throws while the 49ers couldn't get anything going. They had two first half turnovers, including one on a LaMichael James fumble that killed the 49ers momentum when they were trailing 7-3 in the second quarter. That completely swung the momentum of the game to the Ravens. Two touchdowns later, it was 21-3. A field goal late by the 49ers cut the Ravens lead to 21-6 at halftime.
Finally, a long halftime for the 49ers to change their gameplan and figure something out to get back into the game. Eh, not so much as Jacoby Jones (already with one receiving touchdown), returned the opening kickoff of the second half after Beyonce's halftime performance 108 yards for a touchdown. Just like that 28-6 Ravens. What were the 49ers doing? Oh and by the way, the halftime show wasn't great, but it wasn't bad either. The Ravens were in complete control of the game. This was turning into one of the most boring Super Bowls ever.
And just like that, the lights went out on the 49ers...literally. And the Ravens too. The lights to over half of the Superdome causing a delay of over a half hour. Many people expected the delay to favor the 49ers. They were right. The 49ers came out a different team after the unexpected delay scoring seventeen unanswered points to trail 28-23 through three quarters. It would have been even close had the Ravens defense not made a big defensive stand after Ray Rice fumbled on a catch with the score 28-20. Had they not stopped the 49ers from reaching the endzone on that drive, they would have won this game in my opinion.
The Ravens answered the 49ers field goal with a huge drive of their own that got them down to the 49ers one-yard line. However, they could not punch it in, instead kicking a field goal to increase the lead to eight points at 31-23. Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers would not be denied though, marching down the field that capped off with a Kaepernick 15-yard touchdown run to knock the deficit to two points. Instead of going for the extra point, the 49ers went for two, but couldn't get it keeping the score at 31-29.
They got the ball back after the Ravens got a field goal to make it 34-29 and that is when the series of the game happened. The 49ers got it down to the Ravens five yard line with three downs to get it in the endzone. They could not do it. Questionable play calling and a fourth down play that perhaps should have had a defensive holding penalty called against the Ravens but was not effectively ended the 49ers drive. The Ravens played it really smart then by running out of the back of the endzone on fourth down with four seconds left to make the game 34-31. The time was so low only because the 49ers mis-managed their timeout situation so much. They burned one early in the third quarter and on the 49ers last drive, they burned one inside the ten instead of taking the delay of game which may have helped them as it would have opened the field a little more. Inexplicably, the 49ers elected to run the kick the Ravens had to do from their own twenty instead of calling for a fair catch and running one more offensive play. The final whistle sounded and the Ravens won 34-31.
Flacco won Super Bowl MVP for his 287 yard, three touchdown performance, but it should have been Jacoby Jones. His receiving touchdown was a thing of beauty, catching the ball, falling down and getting back up to run for a touchdown and it was his kickoff return touchdown at the start of the second half that was the difference for the Ravens. It was their only touchdown of the second half. Really think he deserved the award over Flacco, but this is a quarterback driven league and you have to give awards to guys who deserve it, especially when Flacco didn't throw an interception the entire season.
Overall, this was a "B" Super Bowl. The final score made this game look more exciting than it really was. The 49ers were in catch up mode the entire game and really didn't play all that right until after the power outage. And, had the 49ers won, there would be a lot of people who would have said that the only reason the 49ers won the game was because of that delay caused by the power outage. Rather embarrassing for the Superdome, the city of New Orleans and the NFL that that had to happen. The 49ers were a completely different team after the power outage and they nearly won as a result of it. There would have been a lot of angry fans, particularly Baltimore fans who would have shouted conspiracy had the 49ers come back and won. But congrats Baltimore and congrats Ray Lewis. You go out a winner and after the run you made in the playoffs, you deserve to hoist the Lombardi Trophy as winners of Super Bowl XLVII.
As for the commercials, once again this year dissapointed. The Oreo one was the best in my opinion with the Taco Bell one a close second. The Go Daddy commercial was just downright creepy. Your thoughts.
The 2012-13 NFL season is over. Now it's time to look ahead to next year. Hope everyone enjoyed the season. Congrats to the Baltimore Ravens and their fans again. Well deserved on a superb Super Bowl run.
Coming up Tuesday: NFL HOF and Award reaction plus other top stories