Vernon Davis Reflects on the End of the 49ers' First Super Bowl Defeat

Davis never got a chance to close the Super Bowl the way he closed the divisional playoff game against the Saints.
Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh restrains San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (85) from a scuffle with Baltimore Ravens players in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 3, 2013; New Orleans, LA, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh restrains San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (85) from a scuffle with Baltimore Ravens players in Super Bowl XLVII at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports / Jack Gruber-USA TODAY
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In 2012, at the end of the 49ers' divisional playoff game against the Saints, Jim Harbaugh called Vernon Davis' number in the red zone and he delivered with a game-winning touchdown catch. The Catch 3, as it was called at the time. It was iconic and it was clutch.

The next year, at the end of the 49ers' Super Bowl against the Ravens, the 49ers were near the goal line once again. But this time, Harbaugh didn't call Davis' number. Instead, Colin Kaepernick threw three straight passes to Michael Crabtree, all three passes were incomplete and the 49ers lost.

Davis never got a chance to close the Super Bowl the way he closed the divisional playoff game against the Saints.

Today, I asked Davis how that loss sits with him more than a decade later.

"If it didn't happen, it wasn't meant to be," Davis said. "I always like to leave things in the past. You can only control what you can control. I think we put all the work in. I thought we worked extremely hard. I thought I did the best that I could to be prepared for that situation and that game, but it just didn't go our way. I don't really ponder on it. I just think about all the good times that we had. All the good moments. The wins. But also hold onto the losses because they allow me to navigate through my life. I'm going to need that throughout the rest of my life."


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Grant Cohn

GRANT COHN

Grant Cohn has covered the San Francisco 49ers daily since 2011. He spent the first nine years of his career with the Santa Rosa Press Democrat where he wrote the Inside the 49ers blog and covered famous coaches and athletes such as Jim Harbaugh, Colin Kaepernick and Patrick Willis. In 2012, Inside the 49ers won Sports Blog of the Year from the Peninsula Press Club. In 2020, Cohn joined FanNation and began writing All49ers. In addition, he created a YouTube channel which has become the go-to place on YouTube to consume 49ers content. Cohn's channel typically generates roughly 3.5 million viewers per month, while the 49ers' official YouTube channel generates roughly 1.5 million viewers per month. Cohn live streams almost every day and posts videos hourly during the football season. Cohn is committed to asking the questions that 49ers fans want answered, and providing the most honest and interactive coverage in the country. His loyalty is to the reader and the viewer, not the team or any player or coach. Cohn is a new-age multimedia journalist with an old-school mentality, because his father is Lowell Cohn, the legendary sports columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle from 1979 to 1993. The two have a live podcast every Tuesday. Grant Cohn grew up in Oakland and studied English Literature at UCLA from 2006 to 2010. He currently lives in Oakland with his wife.