Ray Lewis' last ride has ended with a Ravens coronation.
Twelve years after they won their first Super Bowl with Lewis and the defense leading the way, the Ravens reigned again, finishing off a surprising playoff run in dramatic fashion. Behind the arm of Joe Flacco and the legs of Jacoby Jones, the Ravens held off the San Francisco 49ers in a 34-31 victory in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Completing one of the best postseasons for a quarterback ever, Flacco threw three first-half touchdown passes to three different receivers. Jones, who caught one of those touchdowns, then provided the exclamation point by returning the opening kickoff of the second half for a 108-yard score. That gave the Ravens a 28-6 lead.
The victory gives the Ravens their second Super Bowl title and their coach, John Harbaugh, significant bragging rights over his younger brother Jim, the coach of the 49ers. It also provides a fitting end to the Lewis era, which spanned 17 seasons, and established the identity of the franchise.
Now Lewis, the only remaining player from the team that blitzed the New York Giants to win Super Bowl XXXV, and his teammates will get one more ride, a trip through the streets of downtown Baltimore for a parade to celebrate their achievement.
The Ravens, who limped into the playoffs by losing four of their last five games, proved once again that it isn't always the dominant team in the regular season that captures Super Bowl glory. It's the team that is at its best when the games matter most, and the Ravens left little doubt that they were that team.
They overwhelmed the Indianapolis Colts and their rookie phenom quarterback Andrew Luck in the first round. They needed two overtimes and one miracle 70-yard touchdown pass from Flacco to Jones to beat the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning in a pulsating divisional-round game. They then bullied Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to win an AFC championship game rematch.
Ravens win Super Bowl, defeating 49ers, 34-31
Baltimore Sun | Feb 4