No 'woe is us' by Ravens

No 'woe is us' by Ravens
February 4, 2013, 12:15 am
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As the second half wore on in the Super Bowl, the Ravens had chances to hang their heads, droop their shoulders and start to doubt. Key plays were going the 49ers’ way, sometimes helped by Ravens mistakes.

Two happened within a minute of each other in the third quarter. After the 49ers had scored a touchdown to close the Ravens’ lead to 28-20, Baltimore had the ball just two plays when Ray Rice fumbled it away. The 49ers took over at the Ravens’ 24 with 4:10 left in the third quarter.

However, Baltimore’s defense responded, holding San Francisco to 3 yards on three plays. The key play came from cornerback Cary Williams, who batted away a pass for Ted Ginn Jr. in the end zone. The 49ers turned to David Akers for a 39-yard field-goal try. He pushed it wide left, but Chykie Brown was flagged for running into Akers, so he got another chance, and this time Akers made good on a 34-yard kick.

Then it was the offense’s turn to respond, and the Ravens did, with a 12-play, 71-yard drive that culminated in a 19-yard field goal by Justin Tucker. The drive included three runs by Rice, who kept his usual firm grip on the ball. The three points and the long drive served to slow — at least for the moment — the 49ers’ momentum.

However, that momentum quickly returned, with San Francisco ripping off big chunks of yardage, including a 15-yard scoring run by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, for a five-play touchdown drive that ended with about 10 minutes left in the game. But the Ravens’ resilience showed itself once more after that TD. The 49ers’ attempt at a tying two-point conversion never had a chance, as Ed Reed blitzed from safety and forced a rushed, way-off-target pass by Kaepernick.

Yes, the game still came down to a final red-zone stand by the Ravens and a handsy bit of pass coverage by Jimmy Smith that 49ers fans will forever believe deserved a penalty, but without the Ravens’ ability not to get down on themselves, we never would have seen that purple confetti storm inside the Superdome.