The Ravens were an unstoppable force that, even a power outage in the biggest game of the year, could not stop; slow down maybe, but that is it. Here is N-F-L commissioner Roger Goodell on the power outrage.
The Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34-31. The purple and black have battled everything this year and now they bring home the Lombardi trophy for a second time and first since 2000. The team bent but did not break in the game. They held a 22-point lead before the power outage but watched it dwindle in the second half. Quarterback Joe Flacco would not let it happen after he threw three first-half touchdown passes to cap an 11-TD, zero-interception postseason which ties Joe Montana and Kurt Warner for most TD passes in a single postseason.
How is that for Elite folks? When Flacco was interviewed on the NFL Network about being the general of the team now, he stressed it is a team effort, yes he is a huge part of it but the Ravens would not be in the situation if they did not have great teammates and coaches. Flacco took home the Super Bowl MVP, which is well deserved and he did have elite game.
The AFC champion Ravens (14-6) have improved to 2-0 in the big game. They also won the championship in 2001 when linebacker Ray Lewis was the game’s MVP. Lewis was not a major factor this time, but he was a center of attention, playing in the final game of his 17-year career before retiring.
The “mighty”49ers struggled in the first half and Baltimore led 28-6 after Jacoby Jones opened the second half with the longest kickoff return in a Super Bowl, his eyes glancing up at the video board to watch himself sprint to the end zone. The 49ers showed they were capable of a comeback in their previous game: They trailed by 17 against the Atlanta Falcons before winning the NFC championship game.
Now the final bell rings on Lewis’ storybook ending, an ending that could not have been any sweeter than with this Super Bowl victory. The difficulties they had experienced created a true team tightness within the locker-room, and now it has paid off… The Ravens are the 2013 Super Bowl Champions.
The Superdome is about to rock on Sunday. The Ravens and the 49ers are ready to make the place electric and hit the gridiron to play Super Bowl XLVII. It will be the biggest game of these players lives, some of them will not get another chance at it again. One of those players is Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis… Yes, he’s the ONLY Raven with a Super Bowl ring already, but with a pending retirement after this game, the players want to send him out the ”proper” way. Lewis stated that the whole organization is focused, “I saw a total change, not just in our players, but our entire staff. We are all dialed in. It became so infectious in our locker room, and it was like, ‘What else can we do?’ The players – we kind of took it over for ourselves years ago. We took it over ourselves, where we kind of took the coaches out of the meetings, saying, ‘Coach, we got this. We are going to go through everything you’ve taught us already, but when we leave here, we are going to have a meeting with just ourselves.’ The attention to detail picked up so quickly. I think those meetings are one of the reasons why, collectively as a group – offense, defense and special teams – why we are playing at a high level.” He has a vision with the team that they will walk off that field with the Lombardi trophy. All the players on the team will have to work together to accomplish the same goal. It is the motive that drives the players on the franchise that is “the team, the team, the team.”
Lewis also addressed the impact of this game, and how he will feel after, “When I walk off that field Sunday, I will probably be most proud of the impact I’ve had on so many men’s lives. The game will fade one day, numbers will fall, accolades will wash away, but there is nothing better than changing someone’s life. To be in Baltimore for 17 years, and getting the opportunity to walk off the biggest stage ever, and to one day look back – and still today, I listen to men walk by men and say, “Thank you for helping me. Thank you for changing my life. Thank you for showing me the right way.’ I think that is the ultimate reward.” The Ravens as a team have a lot on their side for this match-up. Momentum, inspiration, leadership and certainly experience in big games. How will they contain Colin Kaepernick? Hopefully with the knowledge of DC Dean Pees and the leaderships of Lewis, Suggs and Reed.. If the Ravens walk out of the dome as the Super Bowl Champions it will be forever more and their lives will never be the same ….
Super Bowl XLVII is almost here, and now that the Ravens and 49ers are dealing with all the festivities of this week, this will be the challenging part. Both teams should the treat the trip to New Orleans as a business trip. John Harbaugh stressed earlier in the week that, “Yes, we want to enjoy it, but we want to enjoy all the things about it that make it special. You can do all those other things anytime. You can do them next week if you want, but you aren’t going to be going to the Super Bowl next week. You are going to be going to the Super Bowl this week. It’s a very special moment, so let’s enjoy all the things pertaining to the football game and the preparation and all those things and a little time with our families. That will be our priority. I will be shocked if our guys have their focus anywhere other than that. I know that our leaders – starting with this guy right over here [points to Ray Lewis] – are going to be a big part of that.” The catalyst for the purple and black is Lewis, with him being a part of the 2000 Super Bowl team, it can give the team a an experiencedadvantage.Except when he gets bombarded with PED questions, which he deflected.
Another impact player is Ray Rice, who seems to be taking in every moment of this week. That is what it is all about, have ”some” fun, and then they get down to real work. Rice will have to be able to get his legs going in the Dome, which is convenient because the previous three games were played outside in frigid temperatures. Playing indoors, should help both the running and the passing game. All the Ravens have to worry about is the other team, the 49ers. The Ravens are riding momentum into New Orleans; they have a mindset to finish the job. We all wonder whom will that player be to step up and guide them to a victory. Ray Lewis, Ray Rice, Joe Flacco, Ed Reed or Terrell Suggs, there are many possible players can take home that MVP trophy but only one team will bring home the Lombardi trophy….
The Ravens have certainly overcome adversity this season. With the passing of former owner Art Modell, the loss Torrey Smith’s brother, battling through the injuries, and of course this being Ray Lewis’s last season. Head Coach John Harbaugh said, “That’s what made the journey – the adversity.” That is what sets a Super Bowl team aside from the teams that are struggling or are close to that goal. One has to fail before they succeed, the Ravens are certainly exceeding expectations and after failing to make it to the BIG game last year, the tables have turned. Harbaugh said, “It’s a professional livelihood and they fight through things – the wins and the losses and all that stuff and the criticism, and all that, it’s all part of it. We all take it personal. It’s who we are. So, it either tears you apart of pushes you together. And it pushed our team together.” Now Lewis, will have a shot to ride into the sunset as a two time Super Bowl Champion. The match-up is set for the Lombardi trophy but the teams will have an extra week to prepare for the game, which will pay dividends for the Ravens. With the emotions of winning the A-F-C Championship behind them, the players will take a few days to reflect on the road that has gotten them to this point.
Teams like the Ravens are built to make it to the Super Bowl. It all starts at the top and works its way down. The Ravens have tremendous experience in the postseason, they have veteran leadership to guide and help the younger athletes, and a solid coaching staff. There are 30 other teams that are in off season mode, trying to figure what went wrong, while the Ravens prepare for the ultimate challenge. Win another Super Bowl for Lewis and have Joe Flacco tie Peyton Manning for playoffs wins at 9. Flacco’s stock rises each time he wins the in a big game. What a journey for Flacco in the playoffs, he beat the Colts with Andrew Luck and then Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in the same postseason, the only other QB to do that was Mark Sanchez. Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, or even Eli Manning- has not even done that. Flacco needs one win to get into a certain class of QB’s, I think we all know what that is….
15-year veteran center Matt Birk is grateful for the opportunity, he said, “That’s the goal, that’s your dream, that’s why you play, nobody deserves it more than anybody else. It doesn’t matter how long you play. Every year getting close and getting close to finally break through, it’s pretty special.” The Ravens have only four who have played in a Super Bowl and seven coaches who have participated in one. Let the team enjoy the win, but the preparation Super Bowl XLVII will not be far behind.
The Ravens rookies got their first look at NFL workouts this weekend. As a Rookie it’s essential to get established with a new system and to be able to learn how the NFL game is so much different from college. The team’s second round draft pick Arthur Brown is said to be Ray Lewis “replacement” which …
The Ravens stunning double overtime win at Denver will be remembered as one of the great wins not only in Ravens – but Baltimore sports history. It doesn’t get much better than a double OT playoff win on the road to hush a sellout crowd, The game was tied after every quarter, and the 1st OT …