The Ravens came out more determined to make it a three-score game, attacking cornerback Chris Culliver repeatedly. While in man coverage, Culliver held his own against Torrey Smith on a fade and Jacoby Jones on a slant, but in zone coverage Culliver was caught with his eyes in the backfield on a double move and Jones beat the defense over the top and made a diving catch. Culliver failed to touch Jones while he was down and allowed Jones to get up and fight his way in the end zone to make it a 21-3 game. At that point, Flacco’s third passing touchdown put him in company with Joe Montana by having 11 touchdowns and no interceptions throughout the playoffs.
With 1:45 left in the half, Kaepernick started focusing on his two most trustworthy targets. Crabtree snagged an out-and-up down the sidelines and then Kaepernick followed up by throwing a gorgeous ball to tight end Delanie Walker on a corner route. Kaepernick then managed to find Moss on a comeback route, but put the ball low and away where even a half-hearted effort could shield the ball from the cornerback.
Following a big gain to Walker again down the seam and an 8-yard gain to Davis on an in-route, Kaepernick froze on a bootleg pass in which he had Crabtree open on the smash route and hit the deck. David Akers hit a 27-yard field goal to make the score 21-6 in favor of the Ravens at the half.
After an extended half time featuring Beyonce, Jacoby Jones ran back a Super Bowl record-tying kickoff return of 108 yards for a touchdown on an electrifying run. Eleven seconds in to the half, the score suddenly was 28-6, Ravens.
Speaking of electrifying, after Kaepernick hit Crabtree on another out-and-up route but then took a 6-yard Arthur Jones sack, the lights went out at the Superdome, causing a lengthy delay in the game. Despite coming up short of the first down after returning to action, the additional time to calm down seemed to help Kaepernick immensely.
Baltimore began the next drive with a 14-yard strike to Smith, but then the drive stalled and the Ravens were forced to punt. Kaepernick scrambled and ran his way down the field, staying conservative. He then found Davis on the play-action pass on a corner route to continue to swing the momentum back to the West Coast team, which led to a huge 31-yard touchdown pass to Crabtree, who bounced off two hard hits on his way into the end zone, helping the 49ers back in the game at 21-13.
With a third-down sack, 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks forced the Ravens to punt form deep in their own territory, a shanked kick that only made it to midfield. Ted Ginn turned the corner to set the 49ers up at the Baltimore 20, and San Francisco took the opportunity to unveil a new play. Kaepernick took off like he was running to the left, but left guard Mike Iupati pulled to the right to seal the edge and Walker laid the wood on Reed while Gore took the handoff on the misdirection. Despite Moss’ complete disinterest in blocking Williams, the 49ers made the score 28-20.
As the tension continued to mount against the Ravens, Rice grabbed a swing pass on the next possession and turned upfield just in time for cornerback Tarrell Brown to arrive and knock the ball free for another Baltimore turnover, deep in Ravens territory. Williams saved a touchdown pass to Ginn on third down, but Akers missed a 39-yard field goal. Due to a roughing the kicker penalty, he received another chance from 34 yards and increased the score to 28-23.