Matt & Mindi: The final four plays cost 49ers the game
Colin Kaepernick completed eight of 15 passes in the second half for 163 yards and a touchdown, and he also ran for a score. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
The Ravens were leading 28-6, shortly after Jacoby Jones' 108-yard kickoff return to open the third quarter. And with 13:22 remaining in the third quarter, the lights went out.
After the power outage, which followed shortly after a 30-minute halftime, the 49ers outscored the Ravens 25-6 but were unable to pull off the largest comeback in Super Bowl history. The Ravens held on for a 34-31 victory for the franchise's second NFL title.
"I thought we still had 13 minutes left to play in the third quarter," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "We had a lot of football left to play. I know who we were playing, the team and the coach that was across that sideline. It was going to be a tough game right to the end."
Said 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, "I don't know what percentage it affected us was."
"I immediately thought we had a power outage against Pittsburgh last year and we came out on fire," 49ers left tackle Joe Staley said.
Said linebacker NaVorro Bowman, "That's the moment that popped in my head when the lights went out. But we weren't losing when the lights went out back when we played the Steelers. We were just able to gain some momentum after the lights went out and it looked like things were going our way."
Coincidence or not, after the game's restart, the 49ers began playing inspired football after a rash of penalties, poor tackling, bad angles, leaky coverage and turnovers.
Said safety Donte Whitner, "The defense started to click. The offense started to click. And once that spark happened we knew it was going to happen. I just wish we could have finished the game."
Entergy and SMG, the management company of the Superdome, released a joint statement about the power loss.
"(A) piece of equipment that is designed to monitor electrical load sensed an abnormality in the system," the statement read. "Once the issue was detected, the sensing equipment operated as designed and opened a breaker, causing power to be partially cut to the Superdome in order to isolate the issue.
"Backup generators kicked in immediately as designed. Entergy and SMG subsequently coordinated start up procedures, ensuring that full power was safely restored to the Superdome."
The 49ers restored their power, too.
In the end, 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks said the power outage had no impact on the result.
"It just took a little longer for us to lose," Brooks said.