John Harbaugh's play cards from Super Bowl XLVII reveal a head coach that was meticulously prepared for any situation that could arise on the game's biggest stage. Yet no amount of planning could have prepared the Ravens for the improbable sequence of events that made the "HarBowl" one of the most memorable in NFL history.
Squaring off against brother and then 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, the Ravens looked to have the game sealed early with a humming offense and momentum on their side. Jumping out to a massive 28-6 lead in the third quarter behind touchdowns from Dennis Pitta, Anquan Boldin and two from Jacoby Jones, only a quarter and a half of football stood between the Ravens and glory.
However, a stadium engulfed by darkness quickly destroyed any momentum that Baltimore had built.
The Ravens are returning to the site of their Super Bowl XLVII victory. Relive the glory.
A power outage in the Superdome delayed play for more than an hour, giving the 49ers ample time to regroup and find a rhythm. Just four minutes and ten seconds after the lights returned, San Francisco had added two scores and a field goal to cut the deficit to 28-23. After a Justin Tucker field goal and another 49ers score in the fourth quarter, the Ravens found themselves in another gut-wrenching battle.
"How could it be any other way? It's never pretty. It's never perfect. But it's us," Harbaugh said. "It was us today."
The culmination of an entire season came down to a final sequence, with the 49ers threatening in the red zone with first-and-goal at the 7-yard line. But the stout Ravens defense stood firm for one last time.
"It was nothing new for us," linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "We've [been] in those types of battles. We just stayed together. We had to win four plays."
As confetti streamed down from the rafters, the Ravens'dreams of a second Lombardi trophy had finally become a reality. Even more fitting was the finale for linebacker Ray Lewis, who retired as an NFL champion.
"It's no greater way, as a champ, to go out on your last ride with the men that I went out with," Lewis said. "And you looked around this stadium … Baltimore! Baltimore! We coming home, baby! We did it!"