Late last night as I tried to comprehend what I had just watched, initially the best word to describe Super Bowl XLVII was “weird“.
It was weird because of the both the obvious (a 34-minute blackout), and the unpredictable (Jacoby Jones’ 108-yard kickoff return that set a new Super Bowl record). But most of all, it was odd because it truly defined one of the most dusty of all football clichés in the most extreme way possible. It was a tale of two halves.
Consider how vastly different the first half was from the second. In the opening half, it seemed as though we were destined to watch a certain blowout, a belief which was hardened when Jones returned the second half kickoff for a touchdown, giving Baltimore a 28-6 lead.
Then the darkness came, and so did the 49ers offense. Following Jones’ return touchdown the Ravens were outscored 25-6 throughout the remainder of the second half. There’s elation in Baltimore today, and bitterness in San Francisco after the 49ers’ comeback fell short (but hey, you get PUDDING). The rest of us? We were entertained. Thoroughly.
We also witnessed history. Lots of history. Here’s a rundown of the notable record smashing and firsts from Super Bowl XLVII:
1. Let’s start off by reminding you again how nuts Jones’ return was, and that it was not only the longest play in Super Bowl and playoff history and the longest kickoff return touchdown (though it was all of those things), but at 108 yards it was one yard short of tying the longest play in league history. What’s even more remarkable is that it comes during a postseason when only a few weeks ago against the Ravens, Denver’s Trindon Holliday set a playoff record that Jones broke (Holliday’s return touchdown went for 104 yards).
2. Jones also set a Super Bowl record for total offensive yardage (290). That includes his 234 return yards, and his 56-yard reception. There’s a very real argument here that he should have been the most valuable player instead of Joe Flacco. As PFT notes, Jones had three more offensive yards than what Flacco had through the air (287).
3. Then when we throw in the 49ers’ overall return yardage, the two teams combined for a record 312 return yards, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
4. Midway through the first quarter when his team was already up 14-3, John Harbaugh thought it was a fine time to stick in the dagger early. Instead of settling for the chip-shot field goal on fourth and nine from the 49ers’ 14 yard-line, the Ravens called a fake, asking kicker Justin Tucker to run nine yards for a first down. He was stopped just short of the marker by Patrick Willis, but it was still the first fake field goal attempt in Super Bowl history.
5. Vernon Davis’ late season resurgence continued in a losing cause. After finishing with 106 yards and a touchdown on five receptions during the NFC Championship, Davis set a Super Bowl record for receiving yardage by a tight end with his six catches for 104 yards, which includes a 29 yarder.
6. More weird here. Kaepernick’s 15-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter was the longest rushing touchdown by a quarterback in Super Bowl history.
7. The Ravens are the most penalized team to ever win a Super Bowl, finishing second overall in the regular season with 121 penalties for 1,127 yards, according to Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News.
8. Also from Gosselin, the Ravens are the first team to win a Super Bowl with a time of possession under 29 minutes throughout the season. Baltimore averaged 28:09.
9. The Ravens’ defense allowed the most yards by a Super Bowl-winning team (468).
10. And it all took a record four hours and 14 minutes. Pay those bills, people of the SuperDome.