Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 2/4/13
The 49ers were nearly flawless throughout the second half of Super Bowl XLVII. But when push came to shove down near the goal line with the game on the line, they just couldn’t convert. Colin Kaepernick played brilliantly throughout the second half, hitting receivers in stride consistently and using the pistol offense to both his and Frank Gore‘s advantage.  Under his guidance, the 49ers scored four times, including three touchdown drives, in the second half and looked primed to take the lead with less than two minutes to go. But an unsuccessful goal line series from inside the five-yard line ended the Niners’ hopes at Super Bowl glory. Some may view the 49ers’ inability to score as a failure. Others might characterize it as a choke. Then again, maybe it was just superb defense by the Ravens that stopped San Francisco just short. In the end, no matter which way you twist it, the 49ers just weren’t able to get it done when it mattered most. And for that Jim Harbaugh deserves most of that blame. Much of the 49ers’ offensive success in the second half was predicated off of the run. Frank Gore shredded the Ravens’ defense on the night, carrying the ball 19 times for 110 yards of which 67 yards came on their final two drives of the game. Gore had just finished off a 33-yard scamper down the sidelines to get the 49ers into scoring position, and it was he who took a handoff six yards into the end zone late in the third quarter. Even more than just Gore, though, the 49ers also boast one of the, if not the, best running quarterbacks in football. Yet, with three plays to gain five yards and get into the end zone, Harbaugh called three consecutive pass plays. So, why abandon your best asset in such a key moment of the game? There’s no real explanation. Gore deserved a chance to pound through a Ravens defense that was playing sans Haloti Ngata. Kaepernick should have been given the chance to break it to the outside for the score, like he did just minutes earlier. Instead, Harbaugh viewed the passing game as their best chance to score, but even then his play calling was underwhelming. Kapernick to Crabtree was the 49ers best passing option on the season, and the pair had even displayed that chemistry time and again on Sunday.  But three consecutive passes to the receiver might have been a bit of overkill, and overly predictable. Vernon Davis is a monster in the red area and worked his way open on the third down incompletion, but Kaepernick wasn’t even looking for him. Randy Moss, at 6-foot-4 and with a freakish 47–inch vertical, might be the best end zone target in NFL history. Yet when time came for a fade route to the back of the end zone, he was nowhere to be found — isn’t this why you signed him in the first place? The play calling lacked creativity, the execution was non-existent and the 49ers just didn’t earn the victory. Harbaugh might not get all the blame for his team’s inability down near the goal line, but he deserves a hefty dose. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes (https://twitter.com/LukeFHughes) or send it here (http://nesn.com/authors/luke-hughes/).
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jim Tressel once sent touching note to family of Michigan OL

Sony cut 'Concussion' scenes to avoid angering NFL

Ryan Clark: Trent Richardson is 'worst RB of all time'

Report: David Feherty won't be back at CBS Sports

Warren Moon: RG3 needs to start taking the blame

Lovullo: I don’t see Hanley Ramirez playing left field again in 2015

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Judge Berman’s one-sentence order repeats Deflategate decision timeline

Ishmael Adams suspended indefinitely following arrest

McNair: Pats caused problem by not cooperating with Deflategate

Browns terminate contract of Phil Taylor

WWE’s 'Superfly' Jimmy Snuka charged in 30-year-old murder

Randall Cobb: ‘I don’t plan on missing a game’

Jack Eichel plans to move in with teammate Matt Moulson

Report: Bills GM 'went rogue’ in cutting Fred Jackson

Terrance Knighton irked by Redskins-Kardsashians comparison

Connor Cook on not being named Michigan State captain: 'It stinks'

Danny Amendola’s advice to those on roster bubble? ‘Control what you can’

Dallas Cowboys: Rookies to watch

Apple reportedly sought exclusive rights to new Bill Simmons podcast

One of Clemson’s 1981 national championship trophies broke

Milan Lucic says playing with Canucks is ‘dream of mine’

Underdogs: Hopefuls that can shock in the World Cup

WATCH: Victoria Azarenka rips chair umpire at US Open

Bill O’Brien starts charity swear jar for cursing on ‘Hard Knocks’

Dikembe Mutombo teared up when Hawks announced franchise will retire his jersey

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Underdogs: Hopefuls that can shock in the World Cup

Manfred digs Shoeless Joe a deeper grave

Why Mike Trout ain't right

The Opening Drive: Jamal Anderson warns UM fans before heading to Salt Lake City

Best and worst MLB players in August

RG3 blames intern for liking Instagram post trashing owner

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

Caroline Wozniacki smoking cover of ‘Rhapsody’

Everett Golson named FSU's starting QB

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker