The Baltimore Ravens and the entire Ravens Nation is still celebrating their 34-31 victory over the San Francisco 49'ers in Super Bowl XLVII and the celebration parade and event at M&T Bank Stadium held yesterday drew over an estimated 200,000 people as fans wanted to share in the experience of being Super Bowl Champions.
Although it was the second Super Bowl title in franchise history, this one seems to be more special than the first because of the five consecutive playoff appearances that finally ended with a Super Bowl title and the constant defiance of the national media on the Ravens chances throughout the regular season and playoffs, not to mention the fact that Ray Lewis had announced before the playoffs began that this would be his last ride. Special is just what these Ravens were, but let's take a look at the five Ravens that determined the Super Bowl.
- John Harbaugh – For the first time all season, I am listing the Ravens head coach on this list, as it was easily apparent that he out coached his brother Jim in the Super Bowl. I didn't have an issue with the fake field goal that he called as it was a high reward, low risk call because if they make it, boom seven points and a big lead early, and if they miss it, like they did, the 49'ers are pinned deep in their own territory and forced Colin Kaepernick to have to make some plays to drive his team down field and as we saw, he ended up throwing an interception. Also, he called the "take a safety" punt at the end of the game, which surprisingly San Francisco didn't seem prepared for it. John just continued to make the right calls and was one of the major reasons this team won Super Bowl XLVII.
- Anquan Boldin – Boldin, who could end up being a salary cap casualty this offseason, had a superb postseason and a fantastic Super Bowl. Anquan reeled in six grabs for 104 yards and a touchdown, and his touchdown came on the first drive of the game for the Ravens and gave Baltimore a lead that they would never relinquish.
- Courtney Upshaw – Although he only made five tackles in the game, his forced fumble on San Francisco running back LaMichael James was such a turning point for Baltimore that he has to be recognized as one of the five Ravens that determined the game. San Francisco was presented with an opportunity to take the lead as they were only trailing 7-3 at the time, but Upshaw's forced fumble ultimately resulted in touchdown that gave Baltimore a 14-3 lead and all of the momentum.
- Jacoby Jones – Coming into the game there was one area where Baltimore had a huge advantage and that was special teams, although more people felt that way because of Justin Tucker versus David Akers, but the Pro Bowl kick returner selection Jones not only made a big play in the receiving game, but his touchdown kickoff return to open the second half was one of the, if not the biggest play of the game as what little momentum San Francisco had after getting field goal at the end of the first half was immediately wiped away. The 108 yard return tied a Super Bowl record.
- Joe Flacco – Cmon, really? The title of this article should be the four guys other than Joe Flacco that determine the Super Bowl, but its not and Flacco capped off a remarkable postseason with a great performance in the biggest game of his career. Flacco completed 22 of 33 pass attempts for 287 yards and three touchdowns and ZERO interceptions. He made countless big plays, escaping pressure and remained, as he always does, cool, calm and collected. Joe is going to get paid this offseason and rightfully so, his overall performance in both the Super Bowl and the playoffs as a whole was the stuff legends are made of.
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