After one quarter of play in Super Bowl XLVII, the Baltimore Ravens lead the San Francisco 49ers 7-3.
San Francisco received the ball to start the game, but went backwards on a quick three-and-out. The game's first play, an apparent 20-yard completion from Colin Kaepernick to Vernon Davis, was called back for an illegal formation penalty.
As a result of that stifling defensive possession, Baltimore was allowed to start its first drive on its own 49-yard line. They quickly capitalized on that great field position, driving 51 yards in six plays and scoring on a touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to Anquan Boldin.
Pro Football Focus was quick to point out a (predictable) culprit on the Ravens' touchdown pass:
No safety got beat more for TDs in the regular season than Whitner with 8. That's his third of postseason.— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) February 3, 2013
Things got a little "chippy" on the Niners' next possession, but none of the arguing and pushing got too serious. After the teams were done squabbling, Colin Kaepernick was able to march his team down the field with both his arm and legs. As Sports Illustrated writer Chris Burke pointed out, he also got some help from the Ravens' defensive leader:
Ray Lewis is having a horrible drive.— Chris Burke (@ChrisBurke_SI) February 3, 2013
Still, the Ravens defense was able to hold after first-and-goal at the 8-yard line, so San Francisco settled for a 36-yard field goal from David Akers.
Baltimore fans' pleasure with the defensive stand quickly turned to fear, however, when Ed Reed was seen jogging to the locker room for observation. He hurt his knee covering Vernon Davis on a 24-yard completion, but quickly returned and appears to be fine.
The Ravens' next drive appeared to have stalled when Joe Flacco was pressured on a third-and-seven. But he threw a deep prayer to Anquan Boldin who somehow hauled it in for a 30-yard gain. NFL Network's Rich Eisen captured the live reaction from New Orleans:
Flacco/Boldin with the first wow play off night. Entire Superdome thought he was throwing that away.— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) February 4, 2013
Flacco was sacked on third down to end the quarter, ostensibly moving Baltimore out of field-goal range. They'll start quarter No. 2 with a fourth down at the Niners' 42-yard line.
*If you're playing a Super Bowl box game, the winning numbers were San Francisco 3, Baltimore 7.*