For the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, the Super Bowl is still in grasp. Both teams won their conference championships and earned a spot in Super Bowl 47. First, let me recap the 49ers.
The 49ers found themselves facing a 17-0 deficit in the second quarter. Atlanta Falcons QB Matt Ryan threw two touchdowns to Julio Jones, and the 49ers couldn’t get anything going on offense. Still, the 49ers didn’t give up hope. The would lead an 85 yard drive for a touchdown to make the game 17-7. The Falcons would then punt on the incumbent drive giving the 49ers a chance to drive once again. They did. They went 76 yards for a touchdown in just 7 plays. The game was now 17-14 and the 49ers were putting pressure on Matt Ryan. He responded with a touchdown drive to end the second quarter.
On the first drive of the third quarter, the 49ers scored another touchdown. I believe that this was the drive that really killed the Atlanta Falcons defense. They just couldn’t stop the 49ers anymore. There wouldn’t be another score in the game until 49ers would score the game’s final touchdown with 8:23 left in the game. The Falcons would have one more huge opportunity to win the game on a drive that started right after the 49ers touchdown. The Falcons would go 14 plays for 70 yards in 7:10. But on the crucial 4th and 4 at the nine yard line, Matt Ryan threw a game-ending incompletion over the middle intended for Roddy White.
People may be quick to blame the Falcons defense for this loss, but they’re not the only ones to blame. After all, it was the Falcons offense that didn’t score a point in the second half. They did a good job of getting the lead, but for the second week in a row, they took their foot off the gas pedal and this time it cost them the game.
Now, let me dive into the Ravens. The Baltimore Ravens handled the New England Patriots in the second half, but the Patriots had opportunities to put the game away in the first half.
The Patriots had many chances to get touchdowns in the first half that went away. New England went all the way down to the 10 yard line twice and came away with field goals: once in the first quarter with 6:21 remaining, and the other in the second quarter with 0:04 remaining. If the Patriots can punch it in the endzone once of the two tries it’s 17-7 after the first half or even 21-7 if they score a touchdown on both. Because they couldn’t, it was 13-7 New England after the first half of play.
The Ravens defense took over during the second half, not allowing the Patriots to score a point, very similar to the NFC Championship game. They forced three turnovers, two of them crucial, in the 4th quarter of the game. The biggest was a Steven Ridley fumble. the Ravens just scored their third touchdown of the game to make the score 21-13, and Bernard Pollard lit up Stevan Ridley with a huge hit, forcing him to cough up the ball. Joe Flacco let the Ravens down the field after that to score the game’s final touchdown.
So that’s what went down in the championship games. We now have a 49ers-Ravens super bowl, or what everyone will be calling it, the Harbowl.