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Light Shines Bright on Baltimore's Old Guys in Super Win

Super Bowl Post-Game Analysis

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Light Shines Bright on Baltimore's Old Guys in Super Win

San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick is sacked by the Ravens.

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What can you say about wild, wild Super Bowl XLVII?

A ton, actually. It was such a crazy game, the Baltimore Ravens' weird 34-31 win over the San Francisco 49ers, that it almost defies analysis. This game will be dissected for a long time to come.

For the ultimate analysis, I guess we'll have to call in an electrician.

Even aside from the infamous power blackout, odd things happened.

- Baltimore's kick returner/wide receiver Jacoby Jones returning the second half kickoff 108 yards for a Super Bowl record touchdown. It was Jacoby's second touchdown in a little over two game minutes, having hauled in a 56-yard scoring strike from Joe Flacco earlier.

The 49ers did a good job of kicking away from the fleet Jones on punts, but it's much more difficult to kick away from a big threat on kickoffs.

By the way, Jones' TD catch was helped by a bonehead play from 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver. When Jones fell down after making the catch, Culliver literally leaped over him to avoid contact.

Did he not know that this is pro football, not college? Excuse me, Chris? You have to make contact with the ball carrier to rule him officially down.

- The amazing 49ers rally, where they scored 17 points in a little more than four minutes, was something to see. First, they score like lightning on a 31-yard scoring pass from Colin Kaepernick to Michael Crabtree, then lightning strikes again after a 32-yard punt return from Ted Ginn sets them up on the Baltimore 20. Two plays later, Frank Gore scores from six yards out.

Finally, much-criticized David Akers kicks a 33-yard field goal after being given a second chance by the Ravens, who were called for a penalty after Akers missed the first one.

- Just as impressive was the Ravens' goal-line stand, after it seemed certain the 49ers were destined for the greatest of all Super Bowl comebacks.

San Francisco had first-and-goal late from the seven-yard line late in the four quarter. This is when Ray Lewis, the much celebrated, much-maligned leader of the Baltimore defense for the last 17 years, showed his leadership skills, settling down his defensive mates.

"Nobody ever panicked," Lewis told the media throng after the game. "Everybody looked at each other and there was no panic. When you have that, when your back is against the wall and they have three more plays at the goal line and if we all do our jobs, they won't get in."

They did their jobs. One rush for two yards and three incomplete passes. Baltimore wins the 2013 Super Bowl.

No matter what you think of Lewis, thug or saint, not a bad, final gift to Baltimore.

- What would a Super Bowl be without a controversial call from the refs? This one was a doozy, actually a couple of doozies, and involved that last-gasp defensive stand by the Ravens.

There was a question of pass interference on the third play of the series on Crabtree and then Baltimore cornerback Jimmy Smith was all over Crabtree on the last play, when Kaepernick's pass sailed high over his head.

It was a non-call, though, with the referees ruling the contact was incidental.

Crabtree and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh obviously disagreed, though both handled their comments with dignity.

"There's no question in my mind that there was a pass interference," he told ESPN. "And then a hold on Crabtree on the last one."

Replays, however, showed that the no-call was a good call on the last play.

So what is to be taken away from this game?

Most observers thought the 49ers would win, and they were favored, though by less than a touchdown.

"In any objective analysis, the 49ers are more talented, younger and faster than the Ravens," wrote Tim Kawakami in a blog for the San Jose Mercury News.

And in truth, those young 49ers actually had some statistical edges, outgaining the Ravens 468 yards to 367, for example. Both young quarterbacks played well, with Flacco being named MVP.

But, in the end, with the game on the line, it was the veterans who came through, spearheaded by Lewis.

Chalk this one up for the old fellas.

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