Friday marked the 10-year anniversary of the San Francisco 49ers’ 34-31 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII, a game that’s remembered as one of the most iconic in NFL history.
The two-week leadup to the game consisted of narratives aplenty surrounding head coaching brothers Jim and John Harbaugh, as well as the final game of legendary Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis’ career.
Jacoby Jones’ record-setting 108-yard kick return to open the second half gave Baltimore a 28-6 lead, but play was interrupted for 34 minutes during the 49ers’ next drive when half of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome’s lights went out. Following the power outage, San Francisco scored 17 straight points, starting with Colin Kaepernick’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree, and had a chance to tie the game with 9:57 remaining after a 15-yard Kaepernick touchdown run, but Kaepernick overthrew Randy Moss on a two-point conversion attempt.
The Ravens led 34-29 after Justin Tucker’s second field goal of the game, but the 49ers drove into the red zone in the final minutes. After a two-yard LaMichael James run set up second-and-goal at the 5 with two minutes remaining, offensive coordinator Greg Roman called three straight pass plays, and Kaepernick couldn’t connect with Crabtree on any of them. Jimmy Smith and Corey Graham broke up the pass on third down, and Kaepernick overthrew Crabtree on fourth-and-goal, with Crabtree and Jim Harbaugh arguing for a holding penalty on Smith to no avail.
Baltimore conceded an intentional safety with four seconds left, and Josh Bynes tackled Ted Ginn Jr. on the ensuing kick return as time expired, ending one of the most dramatic championship games in the league’s history.
The 49ers have played in one more Super Bowl since that fateful day, falling 31-20 to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2, 2020. Roman, who drew heavy criticism for his play-calling in the final minutes, served as Baltimore’s offensive coordinator for the last four seasons. He resigned in January after the offense averaged just 20.6 points per game.
Ethan Kassel can be reached at [email protected]