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RAVENS ARE CHAMPIONS!
published 02/04/13 12:10am
Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco with the precious Lombardi Trophy.
Photo: Tony Medina / Icon SMI
In another thrilling Super Bowl contest that lasted to the very last play, the Baltimore Ravens edged the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 to win their second title in 12 years. Some highlights…

-- Joe Flacco will be remembered as the deserving MVP of Baltimore's 34-31 Super Bowl win, and Ray Lewis' inspiring leadership will be just as lauded years from now. Yet, Baltimore's stars were just two of the countless factors that made Super Bowl XLVII one of the most exciting, frustrating, nail-biting, and simply amazing championship games ever.

-- Flacco passed for three TD's and no interceptions to earn game MVP honors, capping a truly star-making playoff run that saw him throw for 11 touchdowns and no pickoffs over four postseason wins. To wit, Flacco's strong finish was also probably the most consistent thing in this topsy-turvy, exasperating, back-and-forth brawl between head coaching brothers John Harbaugh of the Ravens and Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers--the first two bench boss brothers ever to meet in an NFL title game.

-- Then again, the Harbaugh matchup wasn't the only historic turn in this game. Ravens wideout and return man Jacoby Jones scored twice, including his second half-opening run-back of a kickoff that set the NFL's playoff game record at 108 yards. That put the Ravens up 28-6, and the contest seemed all but out of reach. Yet soon after, a baffling 34-minute power outage struck the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, and momentum swung decidedly back to the 49ers.

-- San Fran QB Colin Kaepernick used to break to rally his team to a superb comeback, one that included a 17-point third quarter, setting the scene for one of the closest title game finishes in recent memory. Down just 34-29 with 1:46 left in the game and all the way down to Baltimore's 5-yard line, Kaepernick threw incomplete in the end zone to Michael Crabtree. The Niners did manage to get the ball back with 0:04 left but it was too little, too late. Return man Ted Ginn made an admirable attempt on the game's final play, but Flacco and the Ravens survived and linebacker Ray Lewis capped his Hall of Fame career with a truly memorable victory.

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