Just when you thought you have seen it all this post season, the Baltimore Ravens find another way to win the biggest game on the planet. The Ravens cruised to a 28-6 lead early in the 3rd quarter and it looked like a blowout was about to take place; but, as fate would have it, the Ravens would have to endure a 34 minute power outage and overcome a late surge by the San Francisco 49ers to take the crown of Super Bowl Champions.
The outage reinvigorated the struggling 49ers offense, as they regrouped, and quickly scored 17 unanswered points in a little over 4 minutes of play. It stopped the Ravens’ mounting momentum and when play resumed, they seemed flat and lethargic. With the score 28-23 at the end of the 3rd quarter, the Ravens had to hang on to win it. They were only able to muster two Justin Tucker field goals in the 4th quarter, but they made it count with a “controversial” goal line stand in the waining minutes of the game to get the win.
On a 4th and goal play with 1:50 left on the clock, San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw a ball into the corner of the end zone. WR-Michael Crabtree was bumped by cornerback Jimmie Smith at the line, and Crabtree, with outstretched arms, was unable to pull the ball in. Jim Harbaugh cried for a holding call, but it never came and the Baltimore Ravens were crowned Super Bowl XLVII Champions.
That play has ignited a firestorm of debate. Some believe there was a hold committed on the play, others (like myself) believe the ball was uncatchable, as it did land 4 feet out of bounds. Even if Crabtree was able to make the catch, he would have been out of bounds.
For arguments sake, let’s say the penalty flag did fly, and the ref did call a holding penalty on Jimmy Smith. The ball would have been placed at the 2-yard line and the 49ers would have had 1:45 left on the clock and 4 downs to score. The Ravens had all three of their time outs left and they would have used them to keep time on the clock. Even if the 49ers had scored on their fourth down try, they would have left way too much time on the clock.
I believe that there would have been 60-70 seconds still on the clock. You can’t give an elite quarterback like Joe Flacco that kind of time and not expect him to be able to get 50 or so yards to get into field goal range. Face it, the 49ers just left too much time on the clock. I believe Joe Flacco would have marched them down the field and Justin Tucker would have kicked the winning field goal, but we will never know for sure. All I know is, these Baltimore Ravens were a “TEAM OF DESTINY” and in my heart, I know they would have found some way to win the game.
Controversy or not, the Baltimore Ravens had an unbelievable season. They overcame so much this season…Art Modell’s death, Terrell Suggs’ Achilles injury, the death of Torey Smith’s brother, the season ending injury to CB-Ladarius Webb, Ray Lewis’ tricep tear, Haloti Ngata’s knee injury, losing 4 of their last 5 regual season games…it was a journey just to make it to the playoffs. Once they got there, the “experts” all said the Ravens would be a “one and done team.”
No one gave them a chance to beat the Denver Broncos or New England Patriots, and they were underdogs again against the 49ers; but, they proved the oddsmakers wrong. The Baltimore Ravens tangled with the best and rose to the occasion. This team wasn’t the best team out there, but they had the biggest heart, and that’s what won it….HEART. Ray Lewis willed this team to do what no one outside of Baltimore ever thought was possible.
To Ray Lewis-Thank you for the most unbelievable ride ever! Enjoy your retirement Ray, we will miss you, but you have earned it. Thank you so much for all of the memories and sacrifices that you have made these past 17 years. From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you and the Baltimore Ravens for the most memorable football season ever. I am very proud to be a Ravens fan and I thank God that we are the WORLD CHAMPIONS. GO RAVENS!