In one of the strangest Super Bowls in memory, the Ravens dominated the first half, were badly outplayed in the second half, and yet managed to survive for a win, the second championship in franchise history.
Everything was going Baltimore’s way when a power outage delayed the game for 35 minutes, leaving players, fans and the news media confused. When play resumed, the 49ers seemed like an entirely different team and pushed the Ravens to the brink of a collapse. But Joe Flacco and the Ravens’ offense settled down and maintained control.
Coach John Harbaugh of the Ravens proved to be a brilliant strategist, with an intentional safety on the team’s final possession all but guaranteeing the team’s victory. He made bold calls all game, making his younger brother Jim seem meek by comparison.
“You know what the turning point of the game was?” John Harbaugh said. “When we covered the kick on the last play.”
The 49ers’ rookie quarterback Colin Kaepernick lived up to his hype after a bad first half. Flacco was the game’s most valuable player, and deservedly so, but Kaepernick cemented his status as one of the game’s rising stars.
For Ray Lewis, the victory meant he got to go out on top. The linebacker has insisted he will not return regardless of the result, and if this was his last game, he went out a winner, even if it was in more of a supporting role than he may have imagined.
The tendency among Super Bowl champions is for everyone on the team to suddenly believe they are worth a great deal more money. For Baltimore, already over the salary cap for next season before resigning Flacco, that could be a problem. But that is a problem for tomorrow.
In a wild season, the Ravens defied all expectations and won a Super Bowl despite being the underdog in nearly every playoff game they played. A truly remarkable run.