The first Super Bowl inside the Superdome in 11 years had everything.
A record-setting kickoff return for a touchdown. A furious San Francisco comeback. A 34-minute power outage.
And that was just in the third quarter.
But the Baltimore Ravens endured enough for a 34-31 win over the favored 49ers on Sunday night.
In winning the franchise's second Lombardi Trophy, the Ravens sent linebacker Ray Lewis out a champion and allowed coach John Harbaugh to remain undefeated against younger brother Jim, the 49ers' second-year coach.
"We felt like we were a special team," center Matt Birk said. "The sum was greater than the parts. Like every team, we went through our adversity but we came through it and it's a special moment to share with these men."
Victory wasn't sealed until a fourth-down stop with 1:46 remaining and when a free kick after a safety was returned to midfield as time expired.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was the game's Most Valuable Player, completing 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns.
"It's unbelievable," Flacco said. "I'll tell you what, we don't make it easy, but that's the way we are."
Jacoby Jones had a 56-yard touchdown catch and a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
The second Jones score put the Ravens up 22 points one play into the second half.
But after the power outage, Baltimore allowed San Francisco to score 17 consecutive points and eventually cut the lead to two points with 9:57 remaining.
The 49ers trailed by five with 4:19 left and moved to the Baltimore 7-yard line. But on third- and fourth-and-goal from the 4, Colin Kaepernick threw incomplete passes intended for Michael Crabtree.
Even Flacco was expecting to have to return to the field for a last-ditch comeback when San Francisco was on the cusp of Baltimore's goal-line.
"I was sitting there thinking there's no way we stop them there," he said. "But we did and that's what our defense is all about."
Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/sports/football/jaguars/2013-02-03/story/super-finish-ravens#ixzz2JwssbJg1
Super finish for Ravens
Jacksonville Times-Union | Feb 4