Santa Clara – The Baltimore Ravens came into tonight’s matchup with a chip on their shoulder because they were the underdogs. In a highly anticipated game that featured the top two teams in the AFC and NFC, who faced each other on Christmas Day. The Ravens stunned San Francisco with a 33-19 blowout on Monday Night, ending their six-game skid.
Baltimore dominated from start to finish, playing well on both sides of the ball. Brock Purdy struggled on offense and threw four interceptions. He went 18 of 32 for 255 yards with zero touchdowns on the night. Purdy became the first 49ers to throw four interceptions in a game since Colin Kaepernick (4 interceptions) vs the Arizona Cardinals on September 27,2015. Purdy was replaced by Sam Darnold late in fourth after he suffered a stinger.
“I thought we came out hard, ready to go, offense, defense, special teams, getting the safety, moving the ball,” said 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. “But for that first half when you have those three turnovers and you do those things and you miss some opportunities and your down 16 to 12, you got not much to show for. I thought we blew a bunch of opportunities in that first half. In the second half when, that third quarter was a rough one. When we get another turnover the hundred yards in penalties. So anytime you got five turnovers over a hundred yards in penalties, that’s how it should be.”
“I just think the fact he’s played this long and never had a game like this is pretty unusual,” Shanahan said. “I think that’s the reality of the NFL. I’m not saying it’s bound to happen, but I wish he didn’t have as many picks today. I think one of them was one he’d really liked to have back. We played a good team, didn’t play our best football today.”
San Francisco had no answer for the Ravens vigorous defense. After forcing QB Lamar Jackson into a safety in the first quarter, the 49ers never got their flow on offense. In fact, they didn’t score Jake Moody kicked a 45-yard field goal in the first, then Christian McCaffrey rushed for a 9-yard touchdown before the half ended. Ronnie Bell’s 12-yard touchdown pass from Darnold in the fourth was all the offense could muster against a dominating defense.
In addition to the loss, the injuries took a toll as well. The 49ers lost LT Trent Williams to a groin injury and he did not return, OL Jaylon Moore had a concussion, and he did not return, OL Aaron Banks had a toe injury, he did not return and CB Ambry Thomas left the game with a hamstring and did not return.
The 49ers defense has held opposing offenses without a 100-yd. individual rusher in 42-consecutive games dating back to Week 9 of 2021. The 49ers 42-consecutive games without an opposing 100-yd. rusher marks the longest active streak in the NFL and the longest streak by an NFL team since the New Orleans Saints streak from 2017-2020. It’s also the 2nd-longest streak in the NFL since at least 2000.
“I think he adjusted how he played throughout the year on tape,” Nick Bosa said on [Lamar] Jackson. “He was sitting in the pocket and read well in the pocket tonight. I think he was looking for that escape lane quicker, and then finding the guys downfield. The way he could change the way he played was super impressive. That’s something we just have to do better on – containing him, similar to how we have this season with other mobile guys and keeping them in there so he can’t find those guys outside the pocket.”
“He could use his legs and he is one of the most talented QB’s in the league,” said Deommodore Lenoir. “I have to give him his props today, he was a great player.”
Darnold completed 8 of his 14 passing attempts for 81 yds. and one touchdown.
His passing TD marked his first of the season and the 62nd of his career.
“Obviously [they had a] really good defense, and a really good scheme,”Darnold said. “They have a really good offense as well. I think we just have to look ourselves in the mirror and figure out what we can do better.”
Jackson was untouchable today; he went 23 for 35 for 252 yards and two touchdowns. No turnovers and played a solid game. The Ravens defense destroyed all of San Francisco’s opportunities on offense. Despite Baltimore being in the AFC, this loss still hurts as the 49ers must finish the season strong winning their last two games to stay atop the NFC.
“It was pretty much a complete game by all three phases,” said Ravens coach Jim Harbaugh. “[They] made numerous plays in short and field position and put us in position, and we covered well against a very good return team, especially kickoff return team. Offense obviously moved the ball [and] scored points [in] numerous plays to close out us out at the end. Then [our] defense just had a spectacular game against one of the best offenses there is. Five turnovers; five interceptions; pressure on the quarterback pretty much all day and plastering the scrambles.
Defensively, it was all three levels. We had pressure. We had the run game under control, [and] that helped us a lot. But we had pressure. I think our coverage was just fantastic and we covered long, so we made them hold the ball, forcing them into some bad throws, and we had our hands on balls. We tipped balls; we had balls in the air, and guys caught them and that helps, too. It was just a complete team effort on defense to get those interceptions.”
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