There is a lot of nuances to learn from the last play of Superbowl 2013 from a DB and a WR perspective. Let's examine some of those nuances.....
First notice in the first snap shot that S.F. is in one variation of the Pistol. The QB is 3-4 yards deep and the single back is lined up directly behind him. The line of Scrimmage is the 5 yard line and the DB Smith who is covering Crabtree is walking up to the 3 yard line to play "bump and run".
Next, notice that the DB Smith is playing "Inside Leverage", meaning he is lining up toward the middle of the field to take away the Slant route. Crabtree is running straight at Smith and is going to purposefully make contact and engage him, which is the proper technique for a WR who is running a "Back Shoulder" route. This would be where as soon as contact is made the Receiver will turn back toward the QB and shield off the defender near the 2 yard line and then after the catch, put his head down and bull his way into the endzone.
Also notice that as Crabtree turns to look for the ball to possibly be thrown to his back shoulder, the QB has already thrown the ball towards the corner of the end zone. Now, either Crabtree ran the correct route and the QB didn't or couldn't make that throw, or Crabtree ran the wrong route.
If Crabtree was supposed to run the "Fade", then he should have never made contact, and broke off his route about a yard or more in front of the DB Smith. Smith was in the perfect position for the fade to work because he was playing "Inside Leverage" which meant that Crabtree would have little trouble getting separation if he just broke off his route at the correct point.
The Ravens Defense called was "Casino Blitz", which means "All In" or max blitz, or everyone take their gap and if they try to run the ball, all gaps were covered by Blitzers, and if the Forty Niners tried to pass, then they were going to have to get rid of the ball in a hurry, and the Ravens were in tight man coverage as you can see.
So, great play by the defense and the reason there was no holding call on the DB Smith was because the Refs are taught that if the DB and the WR are "shoulder Even", meaning Crabtree did not make contact with an outside shoulder, but rather straight into the body, then they will let the "hand fighting" go.
So, what do you guys think....Crabtree ran the wrong route, and Kaepernick threw it where it was supposed to be, or Crabtree ran the right route and Kaepernick had to get rid of it?