NEW ORLEANS – Colin Kaepernick got tripped up and tossed down, then still nearly led the greatest Super Bowl comeback in just his 10th career NFL start.
Rarely rattled on an impressive path to the Super Bowl, San Francisco’s second-year quarterback finally showed some inexperience on football’s big stage. Not to mention some guts in a 34-31 loss Sunday despite San Francisco’s second-half rally.
No team has come from more than 10 points down to win a Super Bowl, and Kaepernick had a chance to make it happen less than three months after becoming San Francisco’s starter.
He regrouped during a 34-minute delay early in the third quarter because of a power outage, finding his groove and turning the Super Bowl into a wild game down the stretch.
Kaepernick directed four second-half scoring drives, throwing a 31-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree and also running 15 yards for a TD. But the 49ers missed the two-point conversion that would have tied the game with less than 10 minutes left.
Kaepernick wound up 16 for 28 for 302 yards with three sacks and an interception for a 91.7 passer rating. The interception was the first by the 49ers in six Super Bowls.
The 25-year-old completed 8 of 13 first-half passes, was sacked twice and threw an interception as San Francisco fell behind 21-6.
President Obama said the threat of concussions for football players means that everything possible should be done to improve their safety – especially players from youth football leagues through college.
He said in an interview on CBS during the Super Bowl pre-game show that he’s not as worried about pro football players, because they are adults who know the risks and are well compensated.
Obama, who has two daughters, reiterated his position that, if he had a son, he would have to think about whether he would let him play football.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who also has two daughters, said on CBS’ Face the Nation earlier Sunday that he would absolutely want his own child to play football. He emphasized that the NFL is funding research to learn more about the risks and changing rules to make the game safer.
The chorus of 26 children from Sandy Hook Elementary School joined Jennifer Hudson to deliver a stirring rendition of America the Beautiful before the game that had some players on the sideline and countless fans in the stands on the verge of tears. Sandy Hook is the school in Newtown, Conn., where 20 first-graders and six adults were killed by a gunman on Dec. 14.
Beyoncé sang live in a dance-heavy, 13-minute halftime performance. Her Destiny’s Child band mates joined her for their hits Bootylicious and Independent Woman, but Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams were barely heard. They also jumped in for some of Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It), where Beyoncé’s voice got better. Alicia Keys played the piano as she sang The Star-Spangled Banner with her eyes shut. Her publicist said the performance was live, days after halftime performer Beyoncé admitted singing along to a prerecorded track at the inauguration.