NEW ORLEANS The first Har-Bowl goes to big brother.
Baltimore coach John Harbaugh survived a power outage, a 300-yard passing effort by a second-year quarterback and a furious second-half comeback attempt by his younger brothers team to win the first Super Bowl matchup between brothers.
Joe Flacco threw for 287 yards and three first-half touchdowns Sunday to lead the Ravens to a 34-31 victory against San Francisco at a Superdome that was without power for 34 minutes early in the third quarter.
Baltimore (14-6) won its second title 12 years after the Ravens defeated the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV.
San Francisco (13-5-1) lost for the first time in six Super Bowl trips and failed in its bid to tie Pittsburgh for the most titles. The 49ers had not played in a Super Bowl since blowing out San Diego in Super Bowl XXIX 18 years ago.
As confetti fell from the rafters, Niners coach Jim Harbaugh put a hand on his brothers neck, and John responded by patting Jims chest. John told his brother he loved him, and Jim congratulated him.
After the game was the hardest thing Ive ever experienced, John said. Its a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be. Its very painful.
The 49ers, who overcame a 17-point deficit to beat Atlanta in the NFC title game, trailed by 22 and nearly pulled off a historic comeback. No team had ever come back from more than 10 points to win a Super Bowl.
San Francisco trailed by 22 after Jacoby Jones Super Bowl record 108-yard kickoff return to start the second half. But the Niners were within a score in the final two minutes before Baltimore turned them away with a goal-line stand in the final game by linebacker Ray Lewis.
Trailing 34-29, the Niners had a first-and-goal at the 7 following Frank Gores 33-yard run. But on fourth down from the 5 with 1:50 left, Colin Kaepernick threw incomplete for Michael Crabtree in the corner of the end zone.
Cornerback Jimmy Smith appeared to hold Crabtree in the end zone, but no flag was thrown. Jim Harbaugh said theres no question Crabtree was held on the play.
The Ravens took a safety with four seconds left, then had to free kick to Ted Ginn Jr., who was pulled down near midfield as time expired.
Lewis, who is retiring after 17 seasons, ended his career with a second Super Bowl ring.
Theres no greater way as a champ to go out on your last ride with the men that I went out with, Lewis said. Flacco, the games MVP, said the hard-fought game was a fitting way for a Baltimore team to win.
Were a tough, blue-collar city and thats the way our games tend to come down to, Flacco said. When we were up 28-6, a lot of people probably thought, this might be kind of easy, and then the next thing you know the Niners get right back into it and we had to grind it out.
Flacco tied a record held by Joe Montana and Kurt Warner with 11 touchdown passes this postseason. Flaccos 11 touchdowns and no interceptions in four playoff games matched Montanas numbers during San Franciscos 1989 championship season.
Flacco is the first quarterback to pass for 1,000 yards, 10 touchdowns or more and no interceptions in a single postseason.
The game was delayed for 34 minutes early in the third quarter because of a power outage at the Superdome following Beyonces halftime performance. The outage seemed to sap Baltimores energy and the Niners seized the momentum.
San Francisco had the ball with 13:28 remaining in the third quarter when the videoboards went dark and the banks of lights began shutting off a section at a time. About a third of the lights stayed on, powered by generators, until power was restored.
Kaepernick threw incomplete on the first play after the delay. But the Niners scored 17 points in a span of four minutes, 10 seconds, fueled by a 32-yard punt return by Ginn and a fumble by Ravens running back Ray Rice, his third of the postseason.
Kaepernick threw a 31-yard touchdown strike to Crabtree for the Niners first touchdown. San Francisco then took advantage of the short field after Ginns return, scoring two plays later on Gores 6-yard run that pulled the Niners to within 28-20.
The teams traded field goals to make it 31-23.
Kaepernick wasnt done. The second-year, second-round pick from Nevada scrambled 15 yards for a touchdown the Niners fourth consecutive possession with points.
Kaepernicks score was the longest touchdown run by a quarterback in Super Bowl history and cut the Ravens lead to 31-29 with 7:32 remaining. San Francisco went for 2, but Kaepernick overthrew Randy Moss on the conversion pass.
Kaepernick threw for 302 yards, rushed for 62 yards and accounted for two touchdowns.
A pair of New Orleans natives had huge contributions for the Ravens Jones and safety Ed Reed, whose ninth postseason interception tied a league record.
The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.
Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email email@example.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.Read moreRead less