I’m not going to get all sentimental on you and say how great it was to see Ray Lewis cap his Hall of Fame career with a Super Bowl victory. It was a great moment, I admire the guy for what he does on the field wand leaving the judgement part to those who are supposed to do it.
Truth be told the, we had a Super Bowl last night that we all could enjoy win or lose. Both teams deserved to play for it, and both teams proved why during various parts (and a power outage) during the game. It was great to see how it ended as well, I thought it was a good no call at the end. I wasn’t someone ready to shed a tear for San Francisco on the call after watching how the NFC Championship Game ended almost the same way (which I also feel was a good no call).
Baltimore did what they had to do to win, and whether you agree with me or not really isn’t up for debate. It was shown in the score and on the field. Joe Flacco (Super Bowl MVP) came out in the first half and did exactly what he should have against the 49ers secondary: go over the top of them. He lit them up in the first half (just as Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers had before him) by taking the physicality out of it and essentially saying “if you can catch our guys, great. But you aren’t going to catch our guys”. He also orchestrated an offense that allowed the running game to wear down the interior with hard fought first downs that worked with the play action decisions.
You can’t take anything away from San Francisco, however, as their game clicked on as the Superdome’s did after a 34-minute delay. Kaepernick, who has been sensational throughout his start, finally showed his experience in the first half (the Super Bowl was just his 10th career start). But once he got rolling it was all business as he showed just how physical a runner (62 yards, 1 TD) and gifted a passer (302 yards, 1 TD) he truly is. Frank Gore (110 yards, 1 TD) was right in stating the Ravens “got away with one”. That isn’t a disrespect to Baltimore, it was a factual statement. The 49ers didn’t fold at 28-6, just as they hadn’t against the Falcons down 20 points, or the Packers in a shootout.
Bit you can only test the fate so many times before you meet an opponent that is capable of punching with you. That’s exactly what the Ravens did as everyone’s favorite safety Ed Reed finally did what he does best in the playoffs (pick off quarterbacks) and shook up the young Kaepernick early. Ray Rice, who put up 59 yards Sunday night, led a dynamic rushing attack that got the yards necessary to get crucial first downs on a night when they lost the battle in that department. And Anquan Boldin (who very well could have gotten the MVP of this game) played at a level we have come to expect, but are only now seeing with the emergence of Joe Flacco.
This game, indeed, had everything you wanted from a Super Bowl (except the commercials. I think we can all agree this was a down year in that department). The game’s outcome can’t be blamed on one thing, nor can it be pinned on one person. Everyone played about as well as you could have hoped on both sides of the ball for both teams. The result was a Super Bowl that I think collectively we could all enjoy and look forward to both teams potentially being back next year.
Sorry to get mushy at the end, good games always get me.