The Ravens earned a hard fought 34-31 win over the Niners on Sunday night, winning Super Bowl XLVII for their second title as a franchise. The club nearly blew a 28-6 lead during a furious Niners comeback, but it was not to be for the NFC Champs.
There’s plenty to talk about when it comes to the game, and here’s just a couple observations as to why the Niners were not able to finish the comeback and walked away losers.
1. Time Out Waste – The Niners used a timeout on their final drive from the five-yard line to avoid a five-yard penalty for a delay of game. It cost them, as they failed to make it into the end zone in the final drive, and by the time they got the ball back there was :04 seconds left. If they would have gotten the play off, it could have been about :50 seconds. Sign of an inexperienced coach and a staff that clearly didn’t take the magnitude of the moment in stride.
2. Play Call On First Down – 1st and goal at the 7, yards away from a title, and the first down play call is a run to LaMichael James? It was a head scratcher, and while the Niners had the Ravens on their toes, the fact that James rushed to for just a 2-yard gain showed it wasn’t that much of a surprise. Four shots to win a title, and you put it in the hands of James. Awful play call.
3. Not So Special Teams – It’s amazing that the Niners were able to get back into the game after allowing a Super Bowl record 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to Jacoby Jones. The special teams needed to be on their toes, as it wasn’t the first time Jones has burned a team this season, just ask the Steelers. On their own side, the punt and kickoff return teams were clearly not enough to give the 49ers good field position. It was a letdown for this unit, and it killed them.