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The Player Who Sealed The Super Bowl

Posted Feb 10, 2013

Backup linebacker Josh Bynes made the final special teams tackle in Super Bowl XLVII.


Quarterback Joe Flacco was ready to sprint off the sideline and tackle Ted Ginn Jr. if he got loose on the final free kick of Super Bowl XLVII.

He might have done it, had it not been for linebacker Josh Bynes.

Bynes made the game's final special teams tackle, sealing the Ravens' win over the San Francisco 49ers.

As reporters were interviewing countless other defensive players after the game, a giddy Bynes joked that more people should be talking to him.

"I made the last tackle. That's a key moment in the game!" he said.

"What if I let the tackle go and he scores?  What would have happened? We would have been [ticked] off. We wouldn't have won the Super Bowl."

Bynes is right. Ginn started to get away from the Ravens coverage team a bit, and wasn't too far from accelerating up the sideline to win the game on a special teams touchdown.

Punter Sam Koch boomed the free kick to the 18-yard line. Ginn accelerated past a diving attempt by safety James Ihedigbo, then juked out cornerback Jimmy Smith.

Ginn was approaching the 50-yard line and Koch was the only player still in front of him. Time had expired, so this was the last play of the game.

Bynes came from Ginn's side and wrapped his arms around the speedster's waist. He swung him to the turf right in front of the Ravens sideline, which exploded into celebration.

Bynes got up from the tackle, threw his hands behind him, looked up and let out a huge scream. He said it was the best tackle he ever made.

"As soon I made the tackle, we knew we were world champions," Bynes said. "I wanted to cry. It was all kind of emotions running through my head."

Bynes had a challenging 2012 season. It started with a broken back that he feared might end his career. The undrafted linebacker, who won a college championship at Auburn, fought back and ended up starting three games when linebacker Ray Lewis was out.

He finished the regular season with 34 tackles and had two in the postseason – none bigger than the last.

"Amazing," he said. "I couldn't ask for any other moment. You can't take this away from us."

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