Ray Lewis leads the huddle for what he has declared to be his last game in the NFL. Lewis didn't have the best game of his career, but went off into the sunset as a champion nonetheless. Due to his plea deal in Atlanta (where he was charged for a double homicide), he will forever be known as a polarizing character. But he will be equally known for his great speeches and God inspiration quotations.
Joe Flacco declared himself "elite" before the 2012/2013 season began, and he sure showed it during the playoffs. He was named Super Bowl MVP, and tied Joe Montana's 1989 record by throwing 11 touchdowns with no interceptions during the whole playoff run.
Colin Kaepernick played a great game in only the 10th start of his NFL career. Kaepernick made 16 of 28 throws for 302 yards, one touchdown, with only one poor throw getting away from him for an interception. He also rushed for 62 yards and one touchdown, whereby the touchdown was the longest rushing touchdown by a quarterback during the Super Bowl in NFL history.
The mandatory picture of the two Harbaugh brothers-John and Jim-who coached against each other in the Super Bowl. John got the best of his little brother, who is now 2-0 against his younger sibling in head to head match-ups.
After Beyonce's halftime performance, a few events happened. Jacoby Jones scored a touchdown off the kickoff to start the third quarter. And then something strange happened: the lights went out. After a 34 minute delay, the 49ers seemed to regain their composure, scoring 20 unanswered points. With the 49ers looking so deflated on the sidelines, the blackout definitely rejuvenated their spirits, or at least allowed them sometime to gain perspective on the situation. If the Ravens had lost the game, the blackout would have been the scapegoat. But it turned out to be a moot point in the end, even if the game was closer than it should have been.
After a safety, a final kickoff to Ted Ginn Jr, alas, the game finally ended, and all was well in Baltimore. Ray Lewis came away with the victory, and San Francisco was left wondering what could have been.
It was never going to be easy. After five consecutive playoff appearances, including one heartbreaker last year when Billy Cundiff missed the game winning field goal against the New England Patriots, John Harbaugh and the Ravens finally broke through to win the big one. In the first year when Jim Harbaugh took the helm in San Francisco, the 49ers lost in the NFC Conference Championship because of two fluke fumbles by Kyle Williams. And in his second year, lost in the Super Bowl due to a slow start, and what looked to be big game jitters from his team. Could the third time be a charm? See you next season.