The 2013 Super Bowl was one of the wildest matchups in NFL championship game history, and the battle between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers lived up to all the hype we’ve seen over the past two weeks.
The Ravens and the 49ers left everything on the field Sunday, and here is the complete score-by-quarter breakdown of this amazing Super Bowl matchup.
Team ||First Quarter||Second Quarter||Third Quarter||Fourth Quarter||
First Quarter: Baltimore Ravens 7, San Francisco 49ers 3
After the long delay of a Super Bowl pre-game extravaganza, it was clear that both teams were ready to start the game as soon as possible.
San Francisco’s offensive unit hit the field first after Baltimore won the coin toss and deferred to receive the kickoff in the second half.
While the 49ers were unable to capitalize on their first drive, Baltimore marched the ball right down the field on the vaunted San Fran defense and Joe Flacco threw a beautiful touchdown pass to veteran receiver Anquan Boldin.
David Akers and San Fran added three points during the team’s second possession, but the first quarter was clearly won by the Ravens.
Second Quarter: Baltimore Ravens 14, San Francisco 49ers 3
After watching the 49ers punt once again in the opening stages of the second quarter, the Ravens marched the ball down the field and Flacco once again found the open receiver for a one-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Pitta.
The momentum was on Baltimore’s side at this point, but it was the interception thrown by second-year QB Colin Kaepernick on the first play on the next possession that really hurt San Francisco.
Baltimore stalled the next drive, but the horrible field position the 49ers had after a failed fake field goal by the Ravens led to yet another three-and-out for Kaepernick and his offense.
San Francisco added a field goal at the end of the second half, but it was a 56-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones from Flacco with around two minutes left in the quarter that really put the 49ers on their heels.
Third Quarter: Baltimore Ravens 7, San Francisco 49ers 17
The third quarter was when this average Super Bowl went from forgettable to memorable.
After opting to return the ball in the second half, the Ravens elected to have veteran receiver and speedster Jacoby Jones run back the kickoff. 108 yards later, Jones had tied the NFL record for longest touchdown in Super Bowl history.
Shortly after taking the momentum of the game completely from the 49ers, Baltimore was iced by an electrical failure in the Superdome that resulted in a 34-minute delay in the action as officials tried to figure out why half the stadium’s lights had gone dark.
Once the lights came back on and each team was forced to punt once, San Francisco came alive and scored two touchdowns (Kaepernick to Michael Crabtree and Frank Gore rushing) in a span of just over four minutes.
The 49ers also added a field goal to close the third quarter, but the damage was done and the momentum had clearly shifted from Baltimore to San Francisco after that power outage.
Fourth Quarter: Baltimore Ravens 6, San Francisco 49ers 8
Now with the game as close as it had been since the opening kickoff, the intrigue around this matchup grew and the thought that either team could walk out of New Orleans with a win added so much tension to the waning minutes.
The first three possessions of the fourth quarter resulted in points—two field goals for Baltimore and a rushing touchdown for Kaepernick and San Fran—but it was San Francisco that had a final chance to give themselves a win.
On San Francisco's final offensive play of the game, Kaepernick threw a pass on fourth down to Michael Crabtree, but Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith appeared to hold the wide receiver during the incompletion.
Should Jimmy Smith have been flagged for holding?
No call was made on the play.
The Ravens got the ball via the turnover on downs and took a late safety that afforded the team the chance to almost entirely kill the clock. The following kickoff was stopped short, and the game was over.
The fourth quarter exemplified just how close this matchup really was, and the entire game will go down as one of the most intriguing Super Bowls in history.