Ravens 2012 Championship Rewind – SB 47
As the free agency period continues and the draft approaches for the 2016 edition of the Ravens, let’s take a look back at the 2012 season which ended in a Super Bowl title. The Ravens beat the 49ers while leading wire-to-wire for a 34-31 victory to hoist the Lombardi Trophy in New Orleans. Known as “The Harbowl” as brothers John and Jim Harbaugh led their teams to the championship contest. This would be the final NFL game for Raven’s future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis and the finale to a season dedicated to Art Modell, who died on September 6, 2012.
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The Niners took an 11-4-1 season record into the playoffs with Colin Kapernick as the quarterback. Alex Smith had suffered a concussion mid-season and Harbaugh kept Kap as the QB even after Smith was ready to return. The Niners rode Kap’s athleticism and a dominant defense to playoff victories over Green Bay at home and a comeback championship road victory in Atlanta.
The 10-6 Ravens also made an in-season change albeit on the coaching side. Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was replaced with QB coach Jim Caldwell after week 14. The move proved right as the Ravens won four straight playoff games, starting with a win against Colts at home in the Wild Card round. Then as 9-point road underdogs, the Ravens win in double OT in Denver. The following week they avenge a championship loss from the 2011 season with a strong 8-point underdog performance to beat the Patriots on the road. Season-long analytics show the 2012 strengths of DEN, NE and SF in relation to the rest of the league. The Ravens win Super Bowl 47 as 4-point underdogs to finish their improbable run through the playoffs. Here are the results from the entire 2012 regular season for Baltimore.
A snapshot of the Raven’s relative ranking based on Game-Q average at the end of the 2012 season. The top three teams on the graphic are the Patriots, Broncos and 49ers from #1 to #3 (starting at the far right)
What did the Ravens do in the off-season leading up to the 2012 season? Coming out of a 12-4 campaign in 2011, Pro Bowl performers were Ray Rice (RB), Vonta Leach (FB), Marshal Yanda (G), Haloti Ngata (DT), Terrell Suggs (LB), Ray Lewis (LB), Ed Reed (FS).
A quick look at their moves and draft picks after losing in the AFC Championship game on the road against New England at the end of the 2011 season.
Additions: S Sean Considine, CB Corey Graham, WR Jacoby Jones, DT Ryan McBean, DT Ma’ake Kemoeatu, S James Ihedigbo.
Losses: OLB Jarret Johnson, DE Cory Redding, G Ben Grubbs, S Haruki Nakamura, S Tom Zbikowski, DT Brandon McKinney.
Re-signed Players: ILB Jameel McClain, ILB Brendon Ayanbadejo, RB Ray Rice (franchised), CB Lardarius Webb.
Releases: CB Domonique Foxworth, CB Chris Carr, WR Lee Evans, K Billy Cundiff
2012 draft picks (round):Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama (2). Kelechi Osemele, CB, Iowa State (2). Bernard Pierce, RB, Temple (3). Gino Gradkowski, C, Delaware (4). Christian Thompson, S, South Carolina State (4). Asa Jackson, CB, Cal Poly (5). Tommy Streeter, WR, Miami (6). DeAngelo Tyson, DE, Georgia (7).
Let’s recap the action from Super Bowl 47 with the help of GameMaps
The Ravens score 5 minutes into the game – a TD pass from MVP Joe Flacco to Anquon Boldin – and never give the lead up. This game is by no means a one-sided affair. The Ravens capitalize on two first half Niner turnovers – a fumble and an INT – to build a 21-6 first half lead. The Niners play a sloppy first half with costly penalties and the two turnovers. The Ravens even attempt a fake field goal that is not converted. The Ravens force a quick three and out and Jacoby Jones catches a 56-yard TD just after the 2-minute warning. The GameMap Field-Q markers show the Ravens controlling field position throughout the first half. All of the field position markers for the Ravens offense and defense are on the successful side of the Trend-Q plot.
The opening kick-off in the 2nd half is a record-setter as Jacoby Jones goes 108 yards to put the Ravens up 28-6. Then…. the lights go out. A near 30 minute delay is caused by an (unexplained?) power outage. When play resumes the teams exchange punts before the Niners go on a 23-3 run. The Niners 2-point conversion to tie the game at 31 fall incomplete. The Ravens then take the next drive 40 yards in 10 plays for a Justin Tucker 38-yard FG to make it a 5 point game with just over 4 minutes to play. The Niners take it 75 yards in 9 plays and it looks like this: Frank Gore rush over right guard for 8 yds, Colin Kaepernick rush over right end for 8 yards, pass incomplete to Vernon Davis and pass complete to Michael Crabtree for 24 yards. First and 10 at the BAL 40. Frank Gore rush over left end for 33 yards to the 7. 1st down: LaMichael James rush over right guard for 2 yds. On the next three downs, the Niners throw it incomplete in the direction of Crabtree. First one is broken up by Corey Graham and the second one is broken up by Jimmy Smith. The fourth down pass turns it over on downs to the Ravens.
The drive ends with 1:45 on the clock. Ravens drive ends by taking a safety with just a few seconds left on the clock. The game ends on the 50 yd line after a return of 31 yards credited to Ted Ginn Jr.
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The Ravens will attempt to rebound from a disappointing 5-11 2015 season. The draft awaits and free agency has mostly run its course. Is a repeat of 2012 on the horizon? With Flacco at quarterback, you have to think the Ravens will have a strong chance to successfully rebound. Rebound all the way to the Super Bowl…. probably a stretch but that’s why they play all 16.
Dr. Guyader is the Owner / Founder of The Q5.com, which specializes in Football Visualizations and Drive Analytics. Additionally, Guyader has 10 years of Division I football experience coaching top-tier and historic programs. From guiding third round NFL draft pick Ramses Barden for four seasons at Cal Poly to converting 6-foot 10-inch lineman Ali Villanueva to wide receiver at the United States Military Academy at West Point, Andy knows how to coach on the field and how to game-plan in a meeting.