Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 2/3/13
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - Joe Flacco unequivocally proved he belongs with the NFL's elite quarterbacks, while John Harbaugh showed that big brother indeed knows best.And for Ray Lewis, it was the ultimate ending to an absoutely illustrious career.Flacco delivered a lights-out performance -- both literally and figuratively -- at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and the Baltimore Ravens warded off a furious comeback attempt by the San Francisco 49ers to hold on for a 34-31 victory in a thrill-packed Super Bowl XLVII that every bit lived up to its advance billing.With nearly all of the two-week pregame buildup focused around either Lewis -- due to the iconic linebacker and team leader's retirement announcement prior to the playoffs as well as a recent Sports Illustrated story stating he used a banned deer antler spray to help recover from a midseason triceps injury -- or the unprecedented head-to-head clash of Harbaugh and his sibling Jim on football's biggest stage, it was Flacco's rising star that shone the brightest.The ultra-composed Baltimore field general threw three touchdown passes to stake his team to a 21-6 halftime lead it very nearly gave away, and finished with 287 yards and no turnovers on a crisp 22-of-33 passing to earn Most Valuable Player honors, a place among the sport's upper echelon at the position -- and almost certainly a massive new contract as an impending free agent.Anquan Boldin hauled in one of Flacco's scoring strikes while amassing 104 yards on six catches, with Jacoby Jones adding a Super Bowl-record 108-yard kickoff return score in addition to hauling in a 56-yard touchdown pass to help the Ravens capture their second Lombardi Trophy in franchise history.It didn't come easy, however. Sparked by a terrific second-half performance by young quarterback Colin Kaepernick and an extended break caused by a mysterious 34-minute power outage early in the third quarter, a valiant San Francisco squad cut a 28-6 deficit down to two after Kaepernick's 15-yard touchdown run with just under 10 minutes left to play pulled the Niners within 31-29.Inspired by both Lewis' swan song and the game's obvious magnitude, the Baltimore defense rose to the occasion down the stretch. The Ravens thwarted a potential tying two-point conversion attempt following Kaepernick's touchdown, then later came up with a pivotal late stop after San Francisco got down to the 5-yard line in the final moments.Kaepernick overcame a slow start to throw for 302 yards and a touchdown to Michael Crabtree while completing 16-of-28 passes with an interception. Both Crabtree and Vernon Davis eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark for the Niners, who outgained Baltimore by a 468-367 margin in total offense, while Frank Gore added 110 rushing yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.Crabtree compiled 109 yards on five catches and Davis had six grabs totaling 104 yards for San Francisco, which suffered its first-ever Super Bowl loss and came up just short in its goal to match the Pittsburgh Steelers for the most wins (6) in the Big Game.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dallas Cowboys' team employee bus involved in fatal crash

Aldon Smith posts video under a pseudonym of a blunt on Periscope

WATCH: Cam Newton get blocked by a girl playing volleyball

Russia avoids complete ban from Rio Olympics by the IOC

Report: Padres trying to move Andrew Cashner, Derek Norris

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Baseball's top prospect called up to majors by Astros

Report: Braves 'aggressively' shopping Francoeur, Aybar

Report: Hue Jackson designing plays for Terrelle Pryor

Report: Darnell Dockett expected to announce retirement

Report: Yankees have not discussed releasing A-Rod

Report: D-Backs making Shelby Miller available via trade

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

Eight most significant injuries going into NFL training camp

Man. U players banned from playing 'Pokemon Go?'

Ken Griffey Jr. put on backwards hat during HOF speech

Mike Piazza honors 9/11 victims during Hall of Fame speech

Jeremy Lin hints he is racially profiled by arena employees

Why did Rio mayor offer to put kangaroo in Olympic village?

Joe Maddon wastes no time cracking Chris Sale joke

Report: Lamar Odom walked out on family intervention

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

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

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

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