On paper, Jimmy Smith made the play that pretty much clinched Super Bowl XLVII. The Baltimore Ravens cornerback covered San Francisco 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree one-on-one on a fourth-down play late in the fourth quarter, and the pass from Colin Kaepernick fell incomplete to lock up the game for all intents and purposes. However, replays reveal that Smith might have gotten away with defensive pass interference or a hold on the play, and Niners fans are still upset a flag was never thrown.
Jimmy Smith joined CJ & Kreckman on ESPN 102.3 in Denver to discuss Super Bowl XLVII, the controversial fourth-down play late in the fourth quarter where some believe he should have been penalized and the impact the third-quarter Superdome blackout had on the Ravens’ momentum.
On Michael Crabtree pushing off:
“He likes to run into you and then push you off. [He’s] a big, strong, physical receiver, so I’m your DB, I’m kind of taught to not let that happen. … And that’s the kind of way the game was played that day so the refs just let it play out that way.”
On how often he’s seen the replay of that controversial play:
“Every time I turn on ESPN.”
On if he thinks he got away with a hold:
“No. … If you look at the play closely, you see him kind of push off of my helmet immediately. So as a DB, what do you do? … If he’s pushing off you gotta make sure you got some type of grip so he doesn’t push off of you. If I never touch him at all and he catches the ball, then it’d be San Francisco winning and why didn’t Jimmy make that play? So I’m happy with the way it turned out.”
On if he feels he was guilty of making contact beyond five yards:
“He ran directly into me. I had inside leverage. He ran into me. So once he did that and tried to push off … I had to make contact. That was on him. He didn’t run a fade; he didn’t get away. He could have just ran and pivoted out or faded away from the ball, but he didn’t. He ran into me so he could make contact to push off to create separation, and I didn’t let that happen.”
On if the 34-minute blackout in the third quarter impacted them negatively:
“As a player you wanna say it didn’t really impact you, but it was kind of evident in that third quarter. We came out of halftime charged up, ready to play, and then a 30-minute wait. Players just didn’t have that same energy. So it definitely took a toll on us in that second half. … All of a sudden the lights just shut off. It was like we were getting close to putting that dagger in them and then they just got this break.”