The Baltimore Ravens are Super Bowl champions after a 34-31 upset victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
The successes of certain players in such a huge game can change the perception of them forever, while members of the losing team can still take several positives from such a negative experience.
No matter what, both the Ravens and 49ers have bright futures in this league and will continue to be favorites to make it back to the big game moving forward.
Let's take a look at the biggest takeaways from Super Bowl XLVII.
Joe Flacco is Elite
I've been arguing the point now for weeks that even if Flacco won the Super Bowl, that might not cement him as an elite quarterback. After his performance in the Super Bowl, I'm willing to change that opinion.
Flacco had a sensational game for the Ravens after completing 22 of 33 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns. While it's true that most of his damage came in the first half, Flacco went an entire game without turning the ball over and didn't give the Niners any chances to have extra possessions.
Despite his second-half struggles—which were more of a result of a total team breakdown than anything else—Flacco made the necessary plays to win this game and completed what was a historic playoff run.
He was only the sixth quarterback in NFL history to throw three touchdown passes in a half and his 11 total touchdowns put him in a tie for the most in a single postseason with Joe Montana.
And, oh yeah, he's also the Super Bowl MVP.
Flacco stepped up and played his best when it mattered most and was the biggest reason why his team is holding the Lombardi trophy. If that doesn't make him elite, I don't know what will.
Colin Kaepernick Will Get His
In only the 11th start of his career, Kaepernick was just yards short of taking his team to the promised land. If not for bad play-calling (fourth-down fade pass) and a missed call on the failed goal line sequence at the end of the game, Kaepernick might have been victorious and won the Super Bowl MVP.
Things didn't start out so great for Kaepernick as the first half was rather uneventful for the second-year quarterback. It seemed the Niners could do nothing right and Kaepernick was unable to get his team into the end zone.
Kaepernick easily could've been dejected and given up, but the young signal-caller showed maturity and kept fighting to help his team recover from a 22-point deficit.
In the end, Kaepernick had another stellar game, completing 16 of 28 passes for 302 yards and a touchdown. He also added 62 yards on the ground for another score, which came on a 15-yard run that set a Super Bowl record for the longest touchdown run by a quarterback.
He's still got a long way to go in his NFL career and while it didn't happen this year for Kaepernick, he displayed every necessary quality of a Super Bowl-winning quarterback. With those traits, there's no doubt Kaepernick will be back in the Super Bowl one day with a different result.
Jim and John Harbaugh Are Best NFL Has to Offer
Not only do Jim and John Harbaugh share the same family name, but they also share the distinction as the best coaches in the NFL.
In just two years as the head coach of the 49ers, Jim has taken his team to two NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl. This was all after taking the reins of a franchise that hadn't enjoyed a winning season in eight years.
John has been great for the Ravens organization as evidenced by five consecutive playoff appearances under his command, as well as this Super Bowl XLVII victory.
The 49ers looked dead in the dirt after a horrid first half, but thanks to Jim's direction, this team didn't quit and fought back from a 22-point deficit to make this a nail-biter of a game.
On the other sideline, John saw his team's lead slipping away, but his players never quit and kept playing hard enough to maintain their early advantage en route to finishing what has been an improbable Super Bowl run.
It's a shame that someone had to lose, but the fact that the players on both sides gave it their all and left everything on the field is a testament to how much they believe in themselves and their coach.
Jim and John Harbaugh brought out the very best in their respective squads this season and that is the mark of great coaching.
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