Sadly, today, a Forty-Niner Super Bowl victory was not to be. Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco was named the game MVP, but the Ravens defense won the game for the team. Unfortunately, Niners QB Colin Kaepernick provided the Ravens defense some assistance.
I wasn’t too concerned when San Francisco’s first possession quickly ended with a punt. In the nine games where Kaepernick was starting QB, it took about half of the first quarter for Kaepernick to find the rhythm of the opposing team’s defense. Then he was able to read them and hand off, pass or run with great success. But today, while I think Kap got a feel for the Ravens defense, they apparently got a good sense of the Niners’ offensive style. Most of the game, Baltimore held Frank Gore to a few yards per play. They also interfered with multiple passes to Michael Crabtree.
The 35 minutes to fix the partial power failure in the Superdome seemed beneficial to San Francisco. After the lights were back on, the Niners scored two TDs on the next two possessions and another in the fourth quarter. Sadly, with under two minutes left on the clock, the 49ers had less than 10 yards to cover to the goal, but the Ravens denied them the TD that would have given San Francisco the win.
My spouse and I are competitive, so we made a few prop bets. I correctly predicted that Michael Crabtree would make the first San Francisco TD (spouse pick was Frank Gore), but I expected that first TD to occur in the first quarter, not the third!
Although Kaepernick said at the many pregame press conferences that he was not nervous because the team was prepared, there were moments when he clearly looked anxious. Once when the camera caught him on the sideline after a possession that did not yield a score, Kap looked downcast, which is rare for him. He’s a pretty calm character, but apparently did not realize that the Super Bowl is not just another football game. But he held up fairly well under the pressure overall. What he learned today should make next season even better.
As far as the fun surrounding the game, I was hoping for a commercial that was extremely funny or had a surprise ending. (I was thinking Fed-Ex cave men – “Fed-Ex hasn’t been invented yet”, the beer ad where the guy slides across the bed and out the window, 2011’s little boy channeling Darth Vadar’s power to start a Volkswagen.) A few of this year’s commercials were mildly amusing; the Coke race ad was just weird. I guess my favorite was the Doritos-eating goat ad during a first quarter break. While I thought the Tide Joe Montana stain commercial was biased for the Ravens, it did have the surprise ending that I appreciate.
The most interesting thing today came from the pregame interviews. Ray Lewis said that the first QB he sacked in the NFL was Jim Harbaugh! Just another bit of unusual trivia in the Super Bowl with the most human interest stories in recent memory.