banner
Adam Gold

The older, wiser brother prevailed

Posted February 4, 2013

There are a lot of reasons why the Baltimore Ravens are celebrating their second Super Bowl title in franchise history.

Joe Flacco was spectacular in backing up his claims at the beginning of the year that he belongs in the upper crust of NFL quarterbacks. Flacco is heading into his contract negotiations off an 11 touchdown, zero interception post season that included three first half scoring strikes in the Ravens' 34-31 win over the 49ers. He not only made no mistakes en route to being named the game's MVP, but he made some of his biggest plays when forced to improvise.

Baltimore's wide receivers, mainly 11-year veteran Anquan Boldin, were too much for the 49ers secondary. Boldin caught six passes for 104 yards and a touchdown, most of which came as the Ravens were building a 21-6 halftime lead. Throw in the greatest two minutes in the history of the Super Bowl by Jacoby Jones and we can really kick it up a notch. In the interest of accuracy, it was really the greatest 1:56 ever as Baltimore's receiver/kick returner hauled in a 56-yard touchdown pass with 1:45 left in the first half, then took the second half kickoff back 108 yards for a score just 11 seconds after intermission.

San Francisco certainly made more mistakes than the Ravens. LaMichael James' 2nd quarter fumble erased a momentum-building drive that saw the 49ers move from their own 20 to the Baltimore 24 in just four plays. Ten plays and 75 yards later, Baltimore had a 14-3 lead. Colin Kaepernick threw one interception – and was lucky to not have thrown a second – and while the Ravens didn't turn that into points thanks to John Harbaugh's curious decision to fake a short field goal, it started the field position chain of events that led to the Jones touchdown catch a couple of minutes before the half.

And, there were also a few very obvious missed calls by Jerome Boger's officiating crew that certainly could have impacted the game. In the interest of brevity, I'll only point to one. With the 49ers facing a third down and goal from the Ravens' 5-yard line Kaepernick threw into the right flat trying to hit Michael Crabtree. The pass was incomplete, partially because Crabtree couldn't hold on and partially because Baltimore defensive back Jimmy Smith crushed Crabtree with a helmet hit to the face mask. This is a penalty every single time in the NFL, except apparently on 3rd and goal with less than two minutes to play in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl. I honestly don't know how you miss that, but so be it. I don't think the Niners lost to the Ravens because the officials missed that call – or any others for that matter.

No, I truly believe the difference was in the Harbaughs. John's team was clearly more ready, early. They played with more poise and greater focus, especially in the first half. And, in spite of that decision to fake the short field goal and have your kicker try to run to gain the nine necessary yards, John coached with a clearer head than did his little brother. It seemed to me that Jim tried to out-think the Dome after San Fran found itself with a 2nd and 2 from the Baltimore 9-yard line just before halftime. Trailing 21-3, and knowing that the Ravens were getting the second half kickoff, you really needed to stick the ball in the end zone. Yet Jim got a bit conservative and when Kaepernick's roll-out to the right produced nothing, they had to settle for a field goal and a 15-point, Beyonce break deficit.

The same happened at the end of the game, after the 49ers reached the Baltimore 7-yard line roughly two minutes after starting at their own 20. Kaepernick's legs were such a weapon in the post season, and they were again tonight, yet the first play was a give to James straight ahead for a 2-yard pick-up. Were the 49ers trying to score or run time off the clock? If you're running the ball up the middle, you had better be handing it to your best guy, Frank Gore, not the guy who fumbled the ball earlier in the game. Three plays later, the game was essentially over and the 49ers lack of success inside the 10-yard line was very much the reason why the Vince Lombardi Trophy is going back to Charm City.

It was a night that had just about everything. We saw a quarterback making a case for a big-money contract, costly turnovers, huge plays in the passing game, a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, an unsuccessful fake field goal, an intentional safety, one replay reversal and a 34-minute blackout caused by a power surge not long after Beyonce and her, well, talented friends left the stage. However, my view is that even though John called his younger brother Jim, "the best coach in the NFL," I think the biggest difference was that the older brother wasn't ready to give in to the little kid, just yet.

Tonight, like the older brother he is, John gets to choose between the top or bottom bunk. Too bad he didn't give Jim a noogie during the post game handshake.

8 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Hokies94 Feb 6, 7:36 p.m.

    When you look at this game from an officiating standpoint, you would have to tell the truth and say that the 49ers didn't get the calls. It's a fact if you watched the game. Little brother will be back again.

  • Hokies94 Feb 6, 4:49 p.m.

    The 49ers have just about all of their players coming back. Colin is going to be a star one day. He has the skill set, leadership ability, and the intelligence to carry this team again. What he did in 10 games was outstanding.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Feb 5, 10:26 a.m.

    ^^^^^

    Meant to add "Panthers", but edit button wasn't working.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Feb 5, 10:23 a.m.

    ^^^^^
    Fox has always been a very conservative coach; it was one of the criticisms against him when he coached at Carolina.

  • Hokies94 Feb 4, 9:32 p.m.

    Young Jim has just begun as a Head Coach. Lessons of experiences will make him better. It takes time to develop a sound foundation and philiosphy. He knows the talent on this team, and the ones that haven't delivered this year. Fire those that haven't done the job. Draft the best out there. The Broncos weren't worth a darn until Manning came in. He should have called his own play when Fox didn't go for the 1st down. They could have been in this game in my humble opinion. One play changed this.

  • kornfan2448 Feb 4, 12:56 p.m.

    I think Jim is a really good head coach with the potential to be great. In his first year, he took a team that was 6-10 the year before and got them to 11-3 and within a botched special teams play from making the Super Bowl. He followed that up by getting to the Super Bowl in his second year and making a very gutsy QB change for a second year guy that few knew much about and he traded up in the previous draft to get. He had good success at Stanford with Luck as QB, who is a pocket passer. He done a great job with Colin, who is a completely different style QB than Luck. I think that shows adversity and ability to adapt, which is crucial as an NFL coach, as the game is always changing. Has to sting though to lose to your big brother on Thanksgiving and then the Super Bowl.

  • PanthersFan45 Feb 4, 12:11 p.m.

    I didn't really care 1 way or the other who won, but I was leaning Baltimore. Its debatable as to who is wiser, they are both good coaches and have had great success. Johns been a coach most of his career since he didn't make it in the the NFL. Jim (being a former NFL QB) has experience working with a head coach and calling plays ... I think's he's learned a thing or two.

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Feb 4, 7:50 a.m.

    This Super Bowl had plenty of plays for the highlight reel, and if you're San Fran, there will be plenty of examples of missed opportunities. And any discussion of missed opportunities should include that obvious holding call that wasn't called. That said, I'm glad John is the Harbaugh bringing home the Lombardi.

  • NFL: Chicago at Detroit

    Thursday at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Philadelphia at Dallas

    Thursday at 4:00 pm on FOX50

  • SEC: Arkansas at Missouri

    Friday at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSFB: Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Friday at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Baltimore at New Orleans

    Tonight at 9:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Duke vs. Furman

    Wednesday at 5:00 pm on 620am

  • CBB: NC State vs. Richmond

    Wednesday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Hurricanes at Florida

    Wednesday at 7:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
MIA 94
CHA 93
12:00pm Today
UWGB
ECU
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAC
 
Final
MIA 94
CHA 93
Final
MEM 107
LAC 91
Final
BOS 88
POR 94
Final
OKC 86
GSW 91
Final
LAL 94
DEN 101
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAC
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
ORL
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
PHO
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
NYK
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
IND
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
CHI
 
Final
GMAS 60
COC 61
Final
FSU 69
UMASS 75
Final
SHSU 53
WOFF 64
Final
UNCG 67
YOUNG 76
Final
CMICH 75
ARKPB 43
 
Final
ILLCH 60
SILL 67
Final
MORE 46
AMER 51
Final
CORN 59
DREX 61
Final
CCST 60
COOK 65
Final
ARKLR 94
CSNO 88
Final
LEH 44
CLMB 54
 
Final
USB 89
MERMAR 54
 
Final
NMU 51
TEXAM 64
Final
STLU 56
TAMCC 62
 
Final
FAIR 80
SD 72
Final
EMICH 79
LONG 48
Final
ND 74
PROV 75
Final
RAD 88
CATAWBA 52
 
Final
DEN 80
COPST 54
 
Final
UAB 58
JST 50
 
Final
WICHS 105
NWM 57
Final
OKLA 90
NWST 68
Final
KSU 59
YALE 66
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
UCR 102
STKAT 49
 
Final
PSU 63
USC 61
Final
HC 101
NICHOLSCOL 70
 
Final
BC 53
DAY 65
Final
MON 75
TOWS 79
Final
HOF 93
WAGN 71
 
Final
CIN 54
EILL 49
Final
UGA 74
FATL 61
Final
BRAD 58
NCAT 50
 
Final
LATU 76
PBY 48
Final
RUTG 76
Terriers 73
 
Final
SAMF 64
UMKC 55
Final
NAVY 70
BING 68
Final
SHU 85
GWEBB 67
Final
UNT 58
IONA 78
Final
KENT 86
MNTST 28
Final
FORD 57
MLOWELL 64
 
Final
UCF 76
USCU 69
 
Final
SCAR 63
AKR 68
Final
WVU 78
UCONN 68
Final
CALST 70
DEL 52
 
Final
HOW 78
HOOD 51
 
Final
OSU 106
SHU 48
Final
VANDY 78
TENST 46
Final
NE 65
MAN 51
Final
COLST 75
MERC 62
Final
MISS 80
NARZ 74
Final
WASH 76
PAC 69
Final
LMU 82
SDCHR 60
 
Final
CHAR 58
MIAMI 77
Final
GAELS 72
UCI 69
Final
ILLST 64
ODU 45
Final
UCLA 77
LBSU 63
Final
SEAT 62
MONT 66
 
12:00pm Today
UWGB
ECU
 
1:30pm Today
WEBER
NEV
 
2:30pm Today
FRES
EVAN
 
2:30pm Today
KYST
PURD
 
4:00pm Today
LSU
CLEM
 
4:00pm Today
ALCOR
DILL
 
4:30pm Today
CHIST
UGST
 
4:30pm Today
DET
MDES
 
5:00pm Tonight
ARZ
MIZZ
 
5:30pm Tonight
INDST
PEAY
 
6:00pm Tonight
FLGC
MAR
 
6:00pm Tonight
LALAF
UWMIL
 
6:30pm Tonight
ODU
GWEBB
 
7:00pm Tonight
MD
ARST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOL
BUCK
 
7:00pm Tonight
JMU
COL
 
7:00pm Tonight
WINT
ETST
 
7:00pm Tonight
GSOUT
FIU
 
7:00pm Tonight
BST
GRAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
APP
HAMP
 
7:00pm Tonight
MAST
JVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
XAV
MURST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAKE
NICST
 
7:00pm Tonight
MSU
SCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
LOU
SAV
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENT
SELA
 
7:00pm Tonight
VCU
VILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
WCU
 
7:30pm Tonight
IND
EWASH
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILL
BRO
 
8:00pm Tonight
MSST
CLAYST
 
8:00pm Tonight
BEL
LIP
 
8:00pm Tonight
TCU
MVSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
IOWA
PEPP
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
PVU
 
8:00pm Tonight
KU
RIDE
 
8:00pm Tonight
BAY
STEPH
 
8:00pm Tonight
INCWORD
A
 
8:30pm Tonight
USF
HAW
 
8:30pm Tonight
OKST
ORST
 
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
YALE
 
9:00pm Tonight
CHAM
PITT
 
9:00pm Tonight
ILLST
SHU
 
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
STET
 
9:30pm Tonight
ISU
ALA
 
9:30pm Tonight
SDKST
CHADRON
 
9:30pm Tonight
NCOL
CCHR
 
9:30pm Tonight
OREG
MICH
 
10:00pm Tonight
SDU
WMICH
 
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
SIUE
 
11:00pm Tonight
AUB
TULSA
 
11:30pm Tonight
SDST
BYU
 
Final
WIN 2
STL 4
Final
NYR 5
MON 0
Final
ANA 2
ARI 1
Final
VAN 4
CHI 1
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
PHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
PIT
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
OTT
 
Final
HOU 13
CIN 22
Final
ATL 24
CLE 26
Final
NEP 34
DET 9
Final
MIN 21
GBP 24
Final
IND 23
JAC 3
Final
CHI 21
TAM 13
Final
PHI 43
TEN 24
Final
SEA 19
ARI 3
Final
SDC 27
STL 24
Final
DEN 39
MIA 36
Final
SFX 17
WAS 13
Final
NYG 28
DAL 31
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
NYJ
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
BAL