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NEW ORLEANS — What looked destined to be a Super Bowl blowout suddenly turned into a nail-biter in the Big Easy.
The Ravens raced to a 21-6 halftime lead, then extended that lead with 108-yard kickoff return by Jacoby Jones to start the second half. Then the blackout happened giving the 49ers an extra 'halftime' to stop the Ravens' momentum.
Colin Kaepernick and his San Francisco teammates quickly made it a game with 17 points in 4:10, but in the end the Baltimore defense held strong and the Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII 34-31.
- Harbaughs could own the NFL. I don't expect this to be the last Super Bowl in which we see a Harbaugh. John Harbaugh's Ravens are your Super Bowl champs and despite losing Ray Lewis to retirement, are stacked. And so are the 49ers. Young, tough and talented. Remember, this was only Kaepernick's 10th start in the NFL. Jim took his 49ers to the NFL Championship last year, Super Bowl this year. Naturally he'll win it all next year, right?
- Kaepernick is destined to be a star. Despite the loss, this second year player nearly led his team to a 22-point comeback victory in the Super Bowl. The largest deficit ever overcome in Super Bowl history is 10 points. Kaepernick threw for 302 yards and one touchdown. He ran for another 62 yards and another score and had his team five yards from the endzone and a remarkable finish.
- Flacco's going to get paid. He's not flashy, but the kid wins. Your Super Bowl MVP is destined for a huge paycheck heading into free agency after throwing for 287 yards and three touchdowns against the 49ers. He threw 11 touchdowns with no interceptions in four playoff wins this season; three of them on the road, including wins against Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.
- Special teams matter. It is often the forgotten third of football, but from fake field goals to kickoff returns, special teams matter. The Ravens attempted a fake field goal in the first half and came up a yard short. Those lost three points almost came back to bite the Ravens. Jones 108-yard return to start the second half turned into a huge score for Baltimore and ultimately made the deficit too much for San Francisco to overcome. And a running into the kicker penalty against the Ravens' Cary Williams gave the 49ers' David Akers a second chance after missing a 39-yard field goal attempt. Luckily for Williams, it didn't matter in the end.
- Locals perform well in spotlight. Former BYU Cougar Dennis Pitta caught four passes for 26 yards and a touchdown from Flacco. Former Utah Ute Paul Kruger sacked Kaepernick twice and had a tackle for loss. Haloti Ngata (Cottonwood HS) and Ma'ake Kemoeatu (Utah) clogged the middle for the Ravens. Alex Smith looked good standing on the sideline.