Flacco becomes only the third quarterback in NFL history to score 11 touchdowns in one post-season, joining the legendary Joe Montana and Kurt Warner who share the record.
And the 34-31 victory secured Ravens coach John Harbaugh the bragging rights over younger brother and 49ers coach Jim, in a game that had been dubbed the SuperBaugh for its unique sibling undertones.
The Ravens opened the scoring after ten minutes when Flacco found Anquan Boldin running up the seam, after splitting 49ers linebacker Navarro Bowman and safety Donte Whitner.
San Francisco answered back with a David Akers field goal, though could have erased their disadvantage totally if Colin Kaepernick had not overthrown to an open Michael Crabtree in the end-zone.
Baltimore linebacker Courtney Upshaw forced the game’s first turnover four minutes into the second quarter when his hit caused a LaMichael James fumble, with Arthur Jones recovering.
The Ravens took advantage when Flacco found Dennis Pitta in the end-zone for a one yard touchdown eight minutes into the second-quarter, stretching their lead to 11.
And Ed Reed made his presence felt on the following 49ers possession, intercepting an overthrown pass from Kaepernick – tying an NFL record with his ninth post-season pick.
Flacco stretched Baltimore’s lead when he found Jacoby Jones with a 56 yard touchdown pass, but an Akers field goal on the 49ers next drive left 15 points between the sides at half-time.
The second-half began in dramatic fashion with Jones returning the kick-off 109 yards for a Ravens touchdown – an NFL all-time record.
An electrical failure in the stadium soon afterwards caused a 34 minute delay as the 49ers faced a long third down, which they failed to pick up after resuming.
San Francisco did narrow the gap soon after when Kaepernick found Crabtree and he bounced off tackles from Bernard Pollard and Cary Williams for a 31 yard score.
The 49ers scored again on their next possession, with Frank Gore punching the ball in, after Ted Ginn Jr. returned a punt to the Ravens 20 yard line.
A fumble by star Ravens running back Ray Rice on the next drive was recovered by Tarrell Brown and led to another Akers field goal.
And the 49ers comeback continued as Kaepernick scored a 15 yard touchdown run with ten minutes to go, although he crucially failed to convert the ensuing two-point conversion to level the game.
Justin Tucker nailed a 38 yard field goal to increase Baltimore’s advantage to five but the 49ers retook possession late in the game knowing a touchdown would put them ahead for the very first time.
They marched downfield to the five yard line but failed to convert, Kaepernick and Harbaugh seething about officials failure to spot a holding penalty on their final attempt to punch the ball across the line.
Baltimore conceded a late safety to eat up the clock and taking final possession with just four seconds remaining, the five-time champion 49ers were left wondering what might have been.
Bal–A.Boldin 13 yard pass from J. Flacco (J.Tucker kick), 10:42.
SF–FG 36 yards D.Akers, 4:03.
Bal–D.Pitta 1 yard pass from J.Flacco (J.Tucker kick), 7:15.
Bal–J.Jones 56 yard pass from J.Flacco (J.Tucker kick), 1:58.
SF–FG 27 yards D.Akers, 0:03.
Bal–J.Jones 109 yard kickoff return (J.Tucker kick), 15:00.
SF–M.Crabtree 31 yard pass from C.Kaepernick (D.Akers kick), 7:28.
SF–F.Gore 6 yard run (D.Akers kick), 5:05.
SF–FG 34 yards D.Akers, 3:14.
Bal–FG 19 yards J.Tucker, 12:57.
SF–C.Kaepernick 15 yard run, 10:04.
Bal–FG 38 yards J.Tucker, 4:23.
SF—S.Koch -8 yard run for safety, 0:12.
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BIOGRAPHY: Adam Lallana
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