When the playoffs started, there was tremendous buzz surrounding young quarterbacks like Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick. In another group were veterans with Super Bowl pedigree: Manning, Brady, Rodgers.
So of course, it’s Joe Flacco who wins it all, throwing 11 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and tying Peyton Manning in both playoff wins and Super Bowl wins in the process.
The first half belonged to the Ravens. Flacco was connecting with his receivers, the past rush on defense got to Kaepernick when it needed to, keeping the “bend but don’t break” mentality in the red zone that was so effective throughout the playoffs.
Of course, after Beyonce’s half-time performance, and a 108-yard kick-off return from Jacoby Jones, this was headed into forgettable Super Bowl game territory: and then the power outage happened.
We can all speculate what really happened: some say it was a sign that God didn’t actually care about football, or the Dome blew their load after seeing that halftime performance (full video here, if you missed it), or maybe Steve Tasker was the one behind it, since it gave him a 15-minute sideline reporting audition for millions of people to see around the world.
Regardless, the entire concept of momentum gained steam as the 49ers came storming back from a 28-6 deficit and was goal to go with two minutes left in the game, needing a touchdown to take the lead.
Whether it was the play calling, or the quarterback in his 10th career start, or the Ravens defense bending but not breaking one more time, the 49ers didn’t find the end zone, and the celebration started in Baltimore, led on Twitter by Wendell Pierce, better known as Bunk from “The Wire”. Seriously, if you haven’t seen his Twitter timeline tonight, you should.
And so, Joe Flacco no longer has to answer the questions about being elite, Ed Reed adds a title to his Hall-Of-Fame credentials, Ray Lewis gets to ride off to the sunset (or Disney World), and John Harbaugh can brag about this to his brother, but maybe he should give it a few family dinners before he does so.
Another season wraps up. Another playoff full of surprises and filled with exciting finishes (ignoring that first weekend of playoff football, which was terrible).
We’ll start all over again in September. And as usual, no one knows what’s going to happen next season. Except that we’ve seen the last on field dance from Ray Lewis forever.
What does everybody think?