Biggest Winners and Losers of Super Bowl XLVII
Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens for their win in Super Bowl XLVII.
This team won against all odds and in defiance to all of those (this columnist included) who refused to believe in them at every turn. Many thought they couldn't ride that wave of emotion over every single opponent they would face in the postseason.
Obviously, the Ravens are winners and the San Francisco 49ers are losers following Sunday's game. That's the easy stuff. Let's break it down a little more, however.
Who were the individual winners and losers of Super Bowl XLVII?
Winner: Ray Lewis
Think about it: What would his legacy have been without a win in this Super Bowl?
Of course he was a great linebacker, but more people found the need to bring up his past indiscretions than ever before. He was implicated in a performance-enhancing substance scandal during the week leading up to the big game as well.
In the short term, it was a huge distraction. In the long term, it was a glimpse at how people would think of him once he was gone.
Now he gets to leave on a high note...one last dance in front of millions of international viewers. Up on that podium, holding the Lombardi Trophy, no one can take that away from him.
Loser: Chris Culliver
Has anyone had a worse week?
Chris Culliver made some unfortunate statements on a radio program leading up to the Super Bowl. His apology was, for all intents and purposes, just another PR mess.
He's taken a ton of derision from fans and media, and he's headed to sensitivity training when he gets back home. On top of all that, he was beaten like a rag doll more than a few times in the biggest game of his young career.
As the 49ers try to get back to the mountaintop next season, it would not be surprising if the team just happened to find an upgrade for the cornerback who is quickly becoming more trouble than he's worth.
Winner: The Harbaughs
When's the last time people thought of Jack Harbaugh?
This is the picture of an all-American family that is now in the spotlight. Jack and Jackie came off as gracious as possible during the media sessions.
Both coaches (while rough around the edges) are as likable as can be. Heck, even brother-in-law Tom Crean had a good weekend when his Indiana Hoosiers took down the No. 1 Michigan Wolverines.
The Harbaughs aren't going anywhere and could find themselves in Manning-type territory if the right PR people get their hands on them.
Loser: The City of New Orleans
New Orleans may not get another Super Bowl while Roger Goodell is commissioner.
It sounds harsh, yes, but when the power goes out at the Super Bowl, it's clear that someone was asleep at the switch at some point. That just can't happen.
No amount of awesome parties, atmosphere or hotel room space will make up for the fact that the NFL was embarrassed in the biggest week of the year.
Goodell won't forget this.
Winner: Joe Flacco
Joe Flacco made a crazy amount of money this postseason.
Rewind just a couple of months, and we all thought it was crazy that Flacco considered himself "elite." We also thought John Harbaugh's "pay the man" comment would come back to haunt him.
How things have changed.
Super Bowl MVPs don't get left out in the cold. The Ravens were never letting Flacco walk, but now he'll have all the leverage in the world.
Loser: Greg Roman
Greg Roman was flying high as one of the of up-and-coming "genius" offensive coordinators in the league.
He was consistently mentioned as a head coaching candidate and looked like he was unstoppable after putting up a ton of points and yardage on the likes of Dom Capers and Mike Nolan.
Late in the game, the 49ers failed at converting a goal-line opportunity. Pass play after pass play led to a turnover on downs that would effectively end the game for the Niners.
The luster is off of Roman's resume. He heads back to the drawing board for next year.
Winner: Jim Caldwell
Speaking of luster on the resume...
Jim Caldwell was never a huge coaching name in the NFL. He almost fell into the Colts' head coaching position and then was overwhelmed once Peyton Manning's days came to a close in Indianapolis.
He resurfaced for the Ravens, but he didn't truly get a shot until it was crystal clear that Cam Cameron wasn't doing anything with this team.
Throughout this postseason and leading up to this Super Bowl win, Caldwell looked like the next great QB guru in the league.
He helped Flacco take the next step this season and will immediately become a bigger part of the Ravens organization. He could be headed for a second chance at coaching by next season.
The blackout embarrassed the league and hurts the city of New Orleans if the NFL decides they can't trust them with another Super Bowl. It also likely cost CBS a lot of money and pride.
CBS wasn't able to take advantage of the blackout with more commercials.
No advertiser is paying premium dollars when everyone knows this is bathroom break time. No one tuned in to watch shots of a half-dark stadium, so CBS pretty much sat around and made viewers listen to Shannon Sharpe.
No one wants to listen to Shannon Sharpe.
Networks also use the Super Bowl to push shows. CBS wanted to push Elementary, their Sherlock Holmes ripoff starring Lucy Liu. The blackout pushed that show past a lot of people's bedtimes.
Winner: Jacoby Jones
From Texans castoff to Super Bowl champion is a pretty solid ascent.
Especially when Jacoby Jones scored two touchdowns and brought a huge momentum burst before the blackout changed the course of the game. Jones wasn't just on the team; it's hard to envision the Ravens as champions without him.
As Anquan Boldin's role continues to diminish, the Ravens will be looking for receivers in their new-look offense. Jones made a pretty big statement in the Super Bowl.
Loser: San Francisco 49ers Offensive Line
Lots of analysts (myself included) think the 49ers have a pretty great offensive line. During the regular season, it could be argued they were the best in the league.
They paved the way for both Colin Kaepernick and Frank Gore to get huge swaths of yardage on the ground and kept their QBs clean in the passing game.
Where was that unit on Super Bowl Sunday?
The biggest problem with the line looked to be Anthony Davis, who has had some issues in the past. Coaches will go over his tape with a fine-toothed comb and weigh potential upgrades (at least for competition) in the draft.
The Niners will also have to decide if they need their line to be more mobile with Kaepernick the long-term answer at quarterback.
The 49ers had a lot of great performances this postseason and in the Super Bowl, but the offensive line's performance on Sunday could not be counted among them.
Michael Schottey is the NFL national lead writer for Bleacher Report and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Find more of his stuff at The Go Route.