10:41 p.m. ET: After an intentional safety that made a lot of people a lot of money (PROP SWEETNESS), the Ravens sealed it following the free kick, and a brief scare from Ted Ginn Jr. They’ve won the second Super Bowl in franchise history, and their first since 2001, despite making the playoffs seven times during that stretch.
We’ll be following this up with a more thorough reaction shortly. For now, please amuse yourself with the GIF fun below, and gaze upon a Super Bowl that included a 108-yard kickoff return, and the lights going boom.
10:32 p.m. ET: Annnd it ends with a fade, and a whimper. From the Ravens’ five-yard line Kaepernick chucked a fade to the back of the end zone in the direction of Michael Crabtree. There was some jostling on the outside between Crabtree and Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith that may or may not have been holding, a questionable non-call that will be debated for, oh, about eight months.
The ball sailed harmlessly beyond Crabtree’s hands, giving the Ravens a turnover on downs.
10:20 p.m. ET: Kaepernick is now under center with 3:48 left in the fourth quarter, and his offense down by five points. He’ll need to lead an 80-yard drive. In his 10th career start. In the Super Bowl.
No pressure, kid.
10:04 p.m. ET: Earlier, Jacoby Jones had his own blackout.
9:52 p.m. ET: Bernard Pierce hobbled to the locker room, and Haloti Ngata’s return is questionable after he suffered a knee injury. There’s so much ugh here.
9:31 p.m. ET: Here’s the chain of events we’ve all just witnessed. A blackout, followed by 14 unanswered (as of yet) 49er points. Those two touchdowns were highlighted by a Ted Ginn Jr. punt return to the Ravens’ 20-yard line, and prior to that a 31-yard touchdown catch by Michael Crabtree, with his yards after the catch ability on full display.
If the Niners erase a three-touchdown deficit at halftime, it’ll be because they scored three touchdowns, and not because of the blackout. But prepare yourself, and buckle up deep in your bunker, because that narrative is already relentless.
9:10: p.m. ET: Prepare for the ultimate game of who-done-it, Super Bowl power outage style. A private, outside source provides power to the SuperDome, and during the outage CBS repeatedly reported that the blackout was caused by a failure by Entergy New Orleans.
Predictably, Entergy New Orleans says “uhhh no way man, it wasn’t us.” Their official Twitter account is pointing a large finger at the customer. Prepare for at least a week of larger and larger fingers being pointed in opposing directions. A 34-minute delay in the middle of the most watched sporting event in the world isn’t something that will be taken lightly. Roger Goodell’s iron fist will have added malice.
8:40 p.m. ET: So hey, did anyone check yes on the “the lights will go out and everything will go dark because the good lord took the 49ers to cover” prop? Yep, that happened.
The most watched sporting event on this planet is currently in a delay because the Superdome is in quasi darkness after half of the main bank of lights in the upper bowl went out. We can now definitively say that Jim is Jack Harbaugh’s favorite son.
Don’t worry, the 49ers are quite familiar with the stadium lights out evacuation drill.
8:32 p.m. ET: So after a halftime of being mesmerized by a sparkler guitar that’s the coolest thing this Earth has ever created, we’ve now returned to the Jacoby Jones show. Jones showcased his speed again on a 109-yard touchdown return on the kickoff to open the second half, which is more than just a playoff record or a Super Bowl record. Yes, it’s both of those things too, but it’s also something so much better.
It’s the longest return touchdown in NFL history. Everything is happening.
7:50 p.m. ET: Woaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh
That’s the end of a 56-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones. You know, the fastest guy on the field, and you’d think that not being beaten deep by said fast guy would be pretty important, and it would be the sole purpose of your existence on the field if your name is Chris Culliver.
Culliver was torched thoroughly along with safety Donte Whitner. Jones now has TD catches of 56 and 71 yards during this postseason, and with his three in the first half, Flacco has now tied the all-time post-season record for passing TDs (11). You smell that? It’s the sweet stench of free agent cash, homey.
The 49ers had allowed only one pass of 50 yards or more throughout the regular season and playoffs. Now suddenly they’re being sliced apart by a quarterback who’s completed 65 percent of his passes. As we wait for Beyonce’s gyrating and thrusting and such, it’s 21-6 Ravens. That’s one hell of a second-half hill.
7:35 p.m. ET: On fourth and nine from the 49ers’ 14 yard-line, that field position was deemed to be ideal dagger insertion time for the Ravens. Instead of taking the three-point chip shot and jumping out to a 17-3 halftime lead, John Harbaugh elected to call a fake field goal on a direct snap, asking kicker Justin Tucker to run nine yards. He was stopped about a yard short by Patrick Willis.
The initial reaction by some was surely to criticize, which is standard whenever a risk is taken, and the result isn’t favorable. But a moment of sober second though leads to the conclusion that this was the best spot to take a chance, and push that dagger in further as the half came to a close. Even with the failure, a 49ers offense that had been inconsistent at best so far had to cover the length of the field for a touchdown going the other way, and Baltimore was set to get the ball back to start the second half.
The risk was minimal, and the reward was great.
7:20 p.m. ET: When rookies do rookie things during the Super Bowl, they usually show up on the scoreboard. So thanks for that ball protection, LaMichael James. The rookie 49ers running back is currently the subject of all the Bay Area’s scorn after he couldn’t hold on to the ball when Courtney Upshaw inserted his helmet into the RB’s rib cage. Two passes to Eric DIckson for a combined 37 yards highlighted the next Ravens drive that ended in a one-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Pitta.
Suddenly Flacco has thrown for 124 yards and two touchdowns, and we’re only midway through the second quarter.
7:15 p.m. ET: Boldin is still ballin’, and Joe Flacco firmly believes that praying heaves are much better than out-of-bounds surrenders.
7:05 p.m. ET: Paul Kruger’s sack celebration was…graceful?
7:02 p.m. ET: No worries, guys. Davis is fine, and his return is probable. But Ed Reed (knee, age) was hurt on Davis’ 24-yard catch, and his injury could be more serious. Stay tuned.
6:55 p.m. ET: Ruh roh. Vernon Davis is being evaluated by 49ers team trainers for…something. We’ll pass along more details as they become available. We have that technology.
6:43 p.m. ET: Two weeks ago, Joe Flacco hit Anquan Boldin for two touchdowns during the AFC Championship game, both coming during a second half when the bulky wideout had 60 receiving yards. It seems Boldin’s size and leaping ability are still rather nice to have around.
After a short 49ers opening drive, the Ravens received the ball for their first possession with great field position. Six plays later, Flacco connected with Boldin again to open the scoring with a 13-yard pass. Boldin has now caught as many TD passes during the post-season as he did during the regular season (4).
6:38 p.m. ET: Jim Harbaugh had his game face set to max herp herp during the pre-game warmups. Also, there’s no way Alex Smith gets into this game. If Colin Kaepernick gets hurt, Jimmers is taking this thing over.
6:26 p.m. ET: You took the over on that national anthem prop, yes? Alicia Keys added some notes at the end (VEGAS CONSPIRACY) that took her total time with piano preening and all to 2:34:7. The o/u at most betting sties was set at 2:10. Meanwhile, the coin flip came up heads.