Ray Lewis ended his career in the most one of the most improbable ways, in one of the most improbable games.
Not much about this outing makes sense.
Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense dominated the first half of Super Bowl XLVII and jumped out to a 21-6 lead. Then, in the second half, Flacco and the offense turned it over to the defense (or for dramatic effect, I should say “Ray Lewis”) and special teams to hold on to their lead.
The Ravens forgot to take into account the unplanned power outage though.
Flacco had his offense clicking right from the get go on Sunday, going 51 yards on their opening possession for a Boldin touchdown. Flacco had 3 touchdowns in the first half, to three different targets: Boldin, Pitta, and Jones.
Meanwhile, Kaepernick the 49ers offense had costly penalties, struggled to sustain drives, and committed 2 costly turnovers.
At the start of the second half, Jacoby Jones took the kickoff 108 yards for the touchdown, and it was becoming obvious that EVERTHING was going the Ravens’ way. Now, with the score 28-6, it was beginning to feel like a blow out….Then the power went out.
What followed the power outage was a game between what appeared to be two different teams. The 49ers offense began moving the ball with much more efficiency and the Ravens offense was mostly stagnant. Colin Kaepernick, who had 364 Total yards along with 2 TD and an INT, brought the 49ers to within two points late in the 4th quarter.
Flacco and his offense—which had been non-existent for most of the second half—had an answer though. The Ravens went 59 yards while taking off 6 minutes off clock, and extended their lead to 5 with a Tucker 38 yard field goal.
At which point it came down to virtually one drive: A young 2nd year quarterback against Ray Lewis and an experienced Ravens defense.
Kaepernick, who seemed unfazed by the moment, drove the 49ers down to the Ravens’ 8-yard line with relative ease. Which set up a 1st down and goal with 2 ½ minutes left in regulation.
Three plays and 2 yards later, we had a 4th down and goal, to decide the outcome of the Super Bowl.
Kaepernick, who had pressure coming untouched right up the middle, threw a fade to Michael Crabtree in the right corner of the end zone. To briefly summarize a play that will be watched over and over for weeks to come: Lots of contact, incomplete, no flags.
Based on how this game had played out so far, it was only fitting that the most controversial “no-call” in recent history came on the play that decided the Super Bowl.
After all, with the amount of contact there was between Crabtree and Smith, in a regular season game, it’s almost certain something would have been called one way or another.
So call it karma, call it bad officiating, call it God intervening (as Ray Lewis certainly sees it), but in the end, the bottom line is: big brother had beaten little brother and Ray Lewis was able to go out in the most fashionable way ever.
As Super Bowl champion.
Follow Cole Stevenson on twitter: @Cole_Stevenson