When the Ravens won its first Super Bowl in 2001, it was with an all-time great defense.
Sunday, they did it with a dynamic offense that staked them to a 22-point lead early in the third quarter behind three touchdown passes from quarterback Joe Flacco en route to a 34-31 triumph.
With Flacco unable to get the Ravens in the end zone in the second half, however, the defense came through with a goal-line stand that started with 2:39 left in the game.
"The first half ended up being a really big part of the game," said Flacco, the game's MVP who threw all of his TDs in the first two quarters. "This game is crazy. The game always comes down to two-minute drives and that's exactly what it came down to today. We were able to get it done in the first half and these guys came up that short."
To be exact, that short is 5 yards. Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick failed on three consecutive passes to Michael Crabtree. The Ravens milked the clock, took an intentional safety, and gave the ball back with 12 seconds left.
With Kaepernick forced to be a passer instead of running the vaunted read-option with Frank Gore, the 49ers came from 17 points down to beat the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC championship game 28-24. He was on the verge of doing it again.
Kaepernick overthrew a pass to Randy Moss that was intercepted by Ed Reed in the second quarter, but he overcame the shaky start to finish 16-for-28 passing for 302 yards and 1 TD.
"It is really not just Colin. He makes it go, but their offense is incredible," said Ravens coach John Harbaugh. "There are so many problems that they pose. Trying to find a defense to call is extremely difficult. I thought (defensive coordinator) Dean Pees did a tremendous job. I thought out players did a tremendous job of playing with discipline. You make one mistake – you do not cover it exactly right, you do not close it exactly right, and they make a big play."
Ravens weather 2nd-half storm by 49ers
CSN Baltimore | Feb 4