Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 in the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
NEW ORLEANS — In the world's biggest sporting event, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh got the best of younger brother Jim of the San Francisco 49ers.
Joe Flacco threw three touchdown passes as the Ravens defeated the 49ers 34-31 in Super Bowl 47 in front of 71,024 fans at the Superdome.
It was the first time brothers met in the championship of a major sport, dubbing the game as the 'Harbowl.' It also marked the end of a 17-year career for Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis. If that wasn't enough story lines, a 30-minute power outage delayed the game in the second half.
"It was a hard-fought game on both sides," Flacco said. "I think we gave the country a pretty good game to watch. Not to our liking necessarily, but that's the way it goes sometimes and that's the way we do things."
The 49ers trailed by 22 points in the third quarter, but rallied to make it a 31-29 game in the fourth quarter. San Francisco had the ball with fourth-and goal at the Baltimore five with 1:50 left in the game. Colin Kaepernick threw a pass towards Michael Crabtree, but Ed Reed was there to defend and secure the win. Reed also recorded his ninth career postseason interception, tying an NFL record.
"It was a hard-fought game," Reed said. "It's hard to enjoy that when you're playing a game like that against a great team. San Francisco played their hearts out. Any one of us could be right here, man."
Flacco took a lot of heat last spring when he said he was the best quarterback in the league. He had the stats and playoff wins to back it up, but lacked that one accolade of every great quarterback — a Super Bowl title.
He sure looked the part of a great quarterback on Sunday. Flacco completed 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards. He had touchdown passes of of 13, 1 and 56 yards and was named Super Bowl MVP.
"I don't think it's going to settle in for a while," Flacco said of winning the Super Bowl.
Flacco threw 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions in the postseason. He tied Joe Montana and Kurt Warner as the only other players to throw 11 TDs in the playoffs. He's also the only QB in league history to make the playoffs in his first five seasons.
"Joe is phenomenal," John Harbaugh said. "We are sitting at third-and-six inches. Joe has three play options and Joe decides to throw the fade to Anquan (Boldin). He throws it right on the money and Anquan goes up and makes the play. To me, it shows you he has got guts. He has got the guts of a burglar. He was doing it all night, making plays."
Baltimore held a 21-6 lead at halftime and no team has ever overcome more than 10 points to win the Super Bowl. Jacoby Jones returned the second half kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown for the longest play in Super Bowl history.
"I saw daylight because of my blockers," Jones said.
It was one of two scores for the receiver, who also caught a 56-yard touchdown pass from Flacco in the second quarter. Flacco also threw a 13-yard score to Boldin, who had 10 catches for 104 yards. Dennis Pitta caught a one-yard touchdown pass in the first half.
With a 22-point lead, it looked like Baltimore would cruise to the Super Bowl title.
Just three plays after Jones' kickoff return, the Superdome's power went out partially. The scoreboard was cut off and the game was delayed for nearly 30 minutes with 13:22 in the third quarter.
When play resumed, the 49ers threw and incomplete pass on third down and the Ravens got the ball back. It had been 84 minutes, which included halftime, since the Baltimore offense was on the field.
"Both teams had to deal with it," John Harbaugh said. "Actually, I thought they dealt with it better, obviously. They were able to turn the momentum of the game."
The Ravens could only manage one first down on their three possessions, which included a fumble by Ray Rice.
The 49ers capitalized by scoring a pair of touchdowns in less than three minutes. Crabtree broke two tackles for a 31-yard score. Crabtree finished with 10 catches for 109 yards. Vernon Davis had eight receptions for 104 yards.
After Ahmad Brooks sacked Flacco on third down, Ted Ginn Jr. had a 32-yard punt return. That set up Frank Gore's six-yard touchdown run and just like that the 49ers were back in the game 28-20 with 5:05 left in the third quarter. Gore finished with 110 yards rushing on 19 carries.
"For the 49ers, it was just a great football game," John Harbaugh said. The way that game played out. The way it was 28-6 and the lights went out with whatever happened, I just knew with Jim Harbaugh being on the other sideline and all of those years we have been together that game was going to be a dog fight right to the end. Those guys were coming back."
The 49ers added to their lead with David Akers' third field goal from 34 yards. Akers also connected from 36 and 27 yards in the first half.
Baltimore's Justin Tucker kicked a 19-yard field goal to finally answer the 49ers' 17 straight points and push Baltimore's lead to 31-23 to start the fourth quarter.
The 49ers came right back with Kaepernick scoring on a 15-yard run. After the two-point conversion failed, the 49ers trailed 31-29. Kaepernick was 16 of 28 for 302 yards passing with one touchdown. The first-year starter also rushed for 62 yards on seven carries.
"He played great," 49ers offensive tackle Joe Staley said. "The future is very bright with Colin. He is a heck of a player and never gave up. He never lost focus in this game."
Tucker kicked his second field goal, a 36 yarder with 4:19 left in the game to put the Ravens up 34-29.
Kaepernick led the 49ers to the five-yard line, but couldn't convert on fourth down and end their comeback attempt.
"I was sitting their thinking there's no way, there's no way we stop them here," Flacco said. "But we did, and that's what our defense is all about. I don't think there's any better ending to a career than that — a goal-line stand by one of the greatest linebackers (Ray Lewis) and one of the greatest players to ever play the game. That's pretty special."
Sunday's Super Bowl win was Lewis' final game as he's retiring after a 17-year NFL career.
"How else can you finish that off, but with a goal-line stand," Lewis said. "How else can you finish a Super Bowl off when your coordinator trusts you the way he trusts you. And we finished that off. We kept them out of the end zone on the two-yard line. That is championship football."