The overly hyped Super Bowl XLVII came to a thrilling conclusion in New Orleans. While the main storyline going into the game were the Harbaugh Brothers squaring off, it was also going to be the last game ever for Ray Lewis. But did the big game live up to expectations?
Going into halftime it looked like Baltimore had the game won. When the third quarter began with Jacoby Jones tying a Super Bowl-record with a 108-yard touchdown return to make it 28-6, it seemed officially over for San Francisco. However, after an unlikely power outrage, the Niners made a comeback. In the end though it was too late as the Ravens held on to win their second Lombardi Trophy with a 34-31 final score.
While Super Bowl XLVII certainly lived up to the hype, there were definitely certain parts of the game that will become memorable. Then there’s just the bad, and even ugly, moments that almost ruined a classic game.
The Good: Anquan Boldin, Jacoby Jones, Colin Kaepernick, and the Fake Punt
Joe Flacco earned the game’s MVP, which was deserved, but it probably wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for Anquan Boldin. Flacco has been on fire during the playoffs, but so has his top receiver. Throughout the playoffs, the vet had three touchdowns and 16 catches. During the Super Bowl he hauled in six balls for 104 yards and a TD. Many can argue that without that third-down grab to move the chains in the fourth quarter the 49ers could have taken the ball and used their momentum to take the lead.
Jacoby Jones also deserves mention. Besides that unbelievable kickoff return for a TD, he also had a crazy 56-yard touchdown catch. Also, worth mentioning is the young Niners QB. After the lights came back on, Colin Kaepernick collected himself and almost lead the 49ers to an unthinkable come-from-behind-win. He’s going to be a force to reckon with. Finally, John Harbaugh’s decision to go for a fake punt was one of the most memorable plays of the game. While the fake punt didn’t get Baltimore the first down, it was a gutsy move for such an important game. It was refreshing to see the Ravens break away from conservative play calling.
The Bad: The 49ers Defense, Play Calling, Ray Lewis and the Power Outage
For a team that had so many Pro-Bowl players on defense, where exactly were they? Chris Culliver and Donte Whitner were picked on all night by Flacco and his receivers. They were out of position and missed big play opportunities. There’s also Justin Smith and Aldon Smith, who were pretty much non-existent. Justin Smith only had three tackles and was on the sideline for a number of key plays; while Aldon Smith was a virtual non-factor, recording two tackles and no sacks. San Fran has a great defense, it’s just a shame that their key players didn’t make the trip to New Orleans.
Speaking of the Niners, Jim Harbaugh’s late-game calling was less than desirable. Instead of keeping the ball in the hands of their top play makers, notably Colin Kaepernick and Frank Gore, they opted for a series of questionable plays. For example, Kaepernick remained in the pocket on third down for another incompletion, as opposed to taking off, and he also attempted a difficult fade to Michael Crabtree on fourth. Those calls will be second guessed for the entire off-season.
While it was nice to see future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis go out with a second Super Bowl victory, the 37 year-old was burned by Vernon Davis all night. It was kinda sad to see Lewis get owned, since it showed us that he’s not the feared player he once was. Finally, there was that power outage. I don’t think there has been a power outage during a NFL game since that Niners/Steelers game in 2011. Sure. Things like that happen, but how does the power go out during the freaking Super Bowl? It’s pretty much only the biggest sporting event of the year.
The Ugly: Jim Harbaugh’s Complaints and Bar Rafaeli
We all know that Jim Harbaugh is an emotional coach, but complaining about the officials is just plain ugly. Harbaugh believes that there should have been flags on the second and fourth-down throws to Michael Crabtree against Corey Graham, and then Jimmy Smith. But none of that should matter. It would be different if Crabtree caught a pass for a TD and then it was overturned, but no such play took place. Instead of taking responsibility for losing the Super Bowl, such as the questionable play-calls, Harbaugh is pointing fingers. This just shows that he didn’t handle losing Super Bowl XLVII “with class and with grace.”
However, the ugliest part of the big game wasn’t any play on the field, it was an ad. Of course the Super Bowl isn’t complete with outrageous commercials, but the GoDaddy.com spot featuring the stunning Bar Rafaeli was nauseating. We know what GoDaddy.com was trying to do, and there’s no problem with a model hooking up with a computer geek, but the slushy, slurppy sounds accompanying the kiss made us exclaim “What the expletive” both times it ran. Seriously, that was probably the nastiest kiss ever to be caught on film.