Super Bowl XLVII: Jim Harbaugh praises San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh paid tribute to his side after their 34-31 defeat by the Baltimore Ravens.
Last Updated: 04/02/13 7:35am
The 49ers trailed 28-6 at one stage, but rallied after a 35-minute delay due to a stadium power failure, scoring 17 unanswered points.
The Ravens led only 31-29 with just over 10 minutes remaining but held firm in the closing stages as San Francisco pressed for a late touchdown, failing to convert three times from the five-yard line.
"Our guys battled, they competed," said Harbaugh. "We got a spark and we weren't going to look back after that. We battled right to the brink of winning."
Harbaugh felt Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith interfered with Michael Crabtree as he attempted to catch Colin Kaepernick's pass for a potentially match-winning TD.
"No question in my mind there was a pass interference and a hold on Michael Crabtree on that last one," added Harbaugh.
"But we want to handle this with class and grace. We had several opportunities in the game, but didn't play our best game. Ravens made a lot of plays."
49ers safety Donte Whitner said: "We felt we were going to win the football game. We got all the way down to the five-yard line. With the offense that we have and the quarterback we have, I would think that we probably will punch it in."
Tackle Joe Staley added: "Five yards short, all the work we did in the offseason, the whole entire season, everything came down to five yards and we weren't able to get it done."