At the end of an exciting, unpredictable Super Bowl XLVII, the Baltimore Ravens are champions of the football world, and Joe Flacco is the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Flacco completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards, with three touchdowns and no interceptions, and completed an amazing postseason in which he had 11 touchdown passes without ever throwing a pick. The only quarterback ever to match those postseason numbers was Joe Montana, with the 49ers in 1989.
On Sunday, Flacco led the way as the Ravens jumped out to a 28-6 lead in a game it looked like they’d win easily. But the 49ers controlled the second half and nearly finished a furious rally before Colin Kaepernick’s last-gasp fourth-down pass into the end zone fell incomplete. The Ravens, who ran out the clock with the help of an intentional safety with four seconds remaining, won 34-31.
Kaepernick was sensational, throwing for 302 yards and a touchdown while running for 62 yards and another score. But Flacco completed an incredible postseason by throwing three touchdowns and no interceptions to win the Super Bowl. If there was any doubt before, there’s no doubt after these playoffs: Flacco is elite. And with his contract expiring after this season, he’s about to make himself a lot of money when he signs a new deal with the Ravens.
Also outstanding for Baltimore was wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who had 104 receiving yards and a touchdown. And Jacoby Jones had two of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history: In the second quarter he fell to the ground as he caught a long pass from Flacco, got up untouched, and raced into the end zone for a 52-yard touchdown. And to start the second half he returned a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown, the longest play in Super Bowl history.
Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis didn’t have a particularly impressive game (the 49ers had a lot of success going after Lewis in the middle of the field), but the 37-year-old Lewis is the greatest defensive player of his generation, and he’ll always be remembered for going out a champion.
Beyond what happened on the field, the game will be remembered for one of the most bizarre scenes in football history: The 33-minute power outage at the Superdome that halted the game and left both teams standing on their sidelines unsure what to do. It’s impossible to say for sure that the power outage helped the 49ers, but the Ravens were certainly flat for most of the game after that long delay.
Much of the talk about this Super Bowl will center on that strange situation. But more than just the night the lights went out in New Orleans, this was the night when a lights-out game from Joe Flacco won the Super Bowl.