Ravens vs. 49ers: Unsung Heroes from Super Bowl XLVII Win for Baltimore

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 3, 2013

Ravens LB Dannell Ellerbe
Ravens LB Dannell EllerbeChristian Petersen/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens downed the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31, in what proved to be a very thrilling Super Bowl XLVII.

Although up 22 points in the third quarter, Baltimore almost let it slip away. In the end, the Ravens were simply too good.

Joe Flacco, Anquan Boldin and Jacoby Jones were fantastic on the offensive side of the ball. Flacco was a very worthy MVP winner.

On the defensive side, it was the old veterans, Ed Reed and Ray Lewis, who put on a great show what could be the last game for both players in a Ravens uniform. Lewis will retire and Reed could leave in free agency.

The aforementioned players will be dominating much of the post-game discussion. Without these three players, though, the Ravens might be going home as Super Bowl losers.

Cary Williams, CB

Some might argue that Cary Williams should have been ejected following his shoving of an official in the second quarter.

Those people have credence for their complaints, but maybe the officials were right to let cooler heads prevail. Emotions are always going to be running high in such a pressurized game.

Williams stayed on the field and made quite an impact for the Baltimore Ravens. He recorded three tackles and deflected two passes. Williams very nearly recorded an interception shortly after incurring the personal foul penalty he picked up during the scuffle.

Colin Kaepernick did a very good job of carving up the Ravens secondary. Williams is certainly culpable for part of that, but of the Baltimore corners, his performance stands out.

Dannell Ellerbe, ILB

Lewis might be getting the accolades, but Dannell Ellerbe was able to outshine the retiring star. He led the Ravens in tackles, with nine total tackles, six of which were solo tackles.

With Haloti Ngata picking up an injury during the game, the defensive line really struggled, especially up the middle.

That meant the inside linebackers became even more important for Baltimore. Frank Gore and Kaepernick were able to slice the Ravens defense open quite a few times on the ground.

That would have been much worse had Ellerbe not put on the kind of performance that he did.

Bernard Pierce, RB

Bernard Pierce did exactly what was needed of him in the Super Bowl. Ray Rice was going to get the majority of the carries, with Pierce spelling him at various times throughout the game.

Pierce's numbers certainly weren't anything to write home about. He carried the ball 12 times for only 33 yards. His longest run of the game was only eight yards.

Simply getting positive yardage was all John Harbaugh needed from Pierce, though, so it's a job well done for the backup running back.

Toward the end of the game, Pierce was also key in keeping the clock running on the Ravens' final drive. He ate up vital seconds and managed to hold on to the football.