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Super Bowl XLVII postscript: 49ers fall short of Ravens, final plays questioned

Monday morning quarterbacks across the country asked the question. What was 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh thinking on those final four plays inside Baltimore's 10 yard line with less than three minutes left and trailing by five points in the Super Bowl?

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San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) cannot reach a pass thrown on fourth-and-goal as Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed (20) defends late in the fourth quarter of the NFL Super Bowl XLVII football game, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, in New Orleans.

Charlie Riedel/AP

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In one of the wildest NFL championship games ever seen (even in the darkest moments), the Baltimore Ravens captured their second Super Bowl title this century by holding on to beat the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31, in New Orleans Sunday night.

Some observers, including Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh, might take the 'holding' part of that opening statement literally near the end of the game. Harbaugh complained of poor officiating on his team's final drive of the contest, saying wide receiver Michael Crabtree was held by Raven defensive back Jimmy Smith on a 4th down pass attempt. San Francisco was trying to take the lead for the first time in the game after being down, 28-6, at the start of the third quarter.

 
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