Against the Patriots, the Ravens just waited until New England played into their hands. In the Super Bowl, there was no need to wait. The 49ers gave Baltimore the game early.
All hail the Ravens. Because the absence of screw-ups in games of high import is every damn bit as important as "big plays."
But the Ravens are Super Bowl champions this morning because their last three opponents – Denver, New England and San Francisco – screwed up.
And the Ravens never did.
"That Raven buzzsaw hit 'em early," Terrell Suggs suggested after Baltimore's skin-of-its-teeth, 34-32 win. "Real early."
It could just as easily be said that, pre-blackout, the 49ers merely fed themselves into the wood chipper.
Their cavalcade of errors – discreet and conspicuous – and the Ravens ability to take advantage of them doomed San Francisco. And even when San Fran climbed back to the cusp of the lead, they got overwhelmed by the Ravens defense and playcalling that didn't seem to anticipate Baltimore's aggression.
"All year, we had the bend but don't break attitude but especially in the red zone," said Suggs. "You gotta know your opponent too. We didn't want him to beat us with his feet and it came down on the goal line, in the red zone, on that last stand, we were gonna make him throw for it. He was gonna have to use his arm. You know nobody hates quarterbacks more than me but I have the utmost respect for Colin Kaepernick. At first I thought, 'The kid, he's just fortunate, he's had some early success. We'll see.' But the kid's the real deal. I respect him. I respect him tons and I don't usually say that about quarterbacks. The kid can play. I don't usually say that about quarterbacks, but you gotta take your hat off to the San Francisco 49ers, they came to play."
But they did it too late.
A catalog of the Niners early miscues. First, they had a formation penalty on their first play from scrimmage that wiped out a 20-yard gain and resulted in them punting from their goal line. Baltimore got the ball at their 49. When the Niners got them in third-and-9, Ahmad Brooks stepped offsides. That penalty wiped out an incompletion and the Ravens got seven on the next play.
Ravens outhit, outwit, outlast another opponent
CSN New England | Feb 4