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After the Superdome went dark, and then regained its power, the 49ers came alive. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
The Ravens were cruising, on their way to a lopsided victory in Super Bowl XLVII.
Then somebody pulled their plug.
Baltimore had just taken a 28-6 lead at the start of the second half Sunday night in New Orleans when Jacoby Jones returned the kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown.
Moments later, however, power went out to about half the Superdome, and play was delayed for 34 minutes.
When it resumed, it was as if the teams changed uniforms.
Baltimore, which up until that point had moved the ball at will and shut down the 49ers, began to struggle. And the 49ers came alive.
In their first full possession after the lights came back on, Colin Kaepernick led an 80-yard drive for a touchdown that culminated with his 31-yard scoring pass to Michael Crabtree.
Then, after Ted Ginn Jr. returned a short punt 32 yards to the Ravens' 20, Kaepernick completed a 14-yard strike to Vernon Davis that set up a 6-yard TD run by Frank Gore.
Suddenly, the 49ers trailed just 28-20.
They quickly cut that deficit to 28-23 when a recovered Ravens fumble set up David Akers’ 34-yard field goal. Everything was going right for the 49ers, it seemed, because Akers even got a second chance after his first attempt missed – but Baltimore was called for running into the kicker.
It was about that time that comedian and actor Will Ferrell tweeted: “How many blackouts does each team get per game? Baltimore better use one soon.”
In the fourth quarter, Baltimore regained some of its momentum on a 19-yard field goal after a long drive to go up 31-23, but the Niners responded with an 82-yard drive and Kaeperick’s 15-yard TD run. San Francisco’s two-point conversion attempt failed, however, and the Ravens would hold on to take a 34-31 victory.
But it was a tale of two games, the one before the power outage, and the one after. What looked like a certain blowout quickly pivoted, as the Niners scored, regained their momentum and almost pulled off what would have been the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.
“Both team had to deal with it,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters after the game, referring to the power outage. “They dealt with it better, obviously. They were able to turn the momentum of the game.”