The Baltimore Ravens and MVP Joe Flacco defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII 34-31.
They almost didn't.
The Ravens held off a furious rally by the 49ers that came just six yards from taking the lead late in the fourth quarter, but some curious play calls and a sudden lack of execution on the 49ers part led to their undoing.
Baltimore, one of the stingiest red zone defenses in the NFL, held off San Francisco despite being on the wrong side of a 23-6 scoring run in the second half. The 49ers had the ball inside Baltimore's 10 yard line but two errant throws and an ineffective run led to a physical corner throw to wide receiver Michael Crabtree that fell incomplete.
Baltimore's Sam Koch took a safety on the punt, and the 49ers couldn't make anything happen off the final free kick.
It's Baltimore's second championship in franchise history. Flacco was 22-for-33 for 287 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions.
He did not turn the ball over once in four postseason games.
The Ravens say goodbye to linebacker Ray Lewis, and head into an offseason that will be highlighted by a contract for Flacco, who is now an unrestricted free agent. It is expected the Ravens will use the franchise tag on Flacco to keep him around in order to sign a long-term deal.