Talking to myself about Super Bowl XLVII…
Question: You picked the San Francisco 49ers to win. Are you happy the Baltimore Ravens won?
Answer: I’m not unhappy about being wrong. I did root for the 49ers because, as a Clevelander, I can’t in good consciousness root for a team that used to be the Browns.
Q: So then why did you pick the 49ers?
A: I had faith in Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco’s first-year quarterback. After Alex Smith’s injury, Kaepernick led the 49ers to a 7-3 record and averaged a 101.4 QB rating in his 10 starts. In the postseason, he threw for 798 yards over three games. He scored seven total touchdowns, throwing for four and rushing for three. Allow for two interceptions and add 264 yards rushing. He played well, especially in the Year of the Young Quarterback.
Q: Not as well as the Ravens.
A: The Ravens wanted to win more, plain and simple.
Q: That’s all it takes to win the Super Bowl these days?
A: Linebacker Ray Lewis was already his team’s emotional leader before announcing his retirement in the middle of the postseason. Now the Ravens had another battle cry, to win one more for their defensive captain so Lewis could end his career on a crescendo.
Q: What about Joe Flacco?
A: What about him? He played flawlessly in the playoffs. With 1,140 passing yards, 11 TDs, no picks and a 118.0 QB rating, Flacco upended the stigma against his consistency in clutch performances. I kept waiting for him to make a mistake in the big game, but he never did. He’s definitely deserving of the Super Bowl MVP trophy and a brand new 2014 Chevrolet Corvette.
Q: So the 49ers weren’t going to win?
A: I didn’t say that. But I’ll admit, after the Ravens had a 28-6 lead early in the third quarter thanks to Jacoby Jones’ record-setting kickoff return for a touchdown, I wasn’t too confident in the game ending as close as it did.
Q: And the ending? Did the referees make the wrong call?
A: If you’re referring to the no-call on the Ravens’ coverage of 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree, I’m not willing to go into that. Fans of both teams will, undoubtedly, and I can see why, but I’ve only seen a handful of NFL moments when referees had an extreme impact on a game’s final score. San Francisco’s final drive wasn’t one of them.
If anything, I’d chalk up the 49ers’ loss to poor timeout management and failure to convert the two-point conversion with 10 minutes left in regulation. A successful conversion would have tied the game, and just like the Superdome’s lights going out, who knows how it would have affected the end result.