A great game between two great teams. The Ravens had the ball last and made one more play than the Niners, kicking the game winning field goal as time expired.
The 49er defense showed why they’re the best in the league, holding Lamar Jackson to 105 yards passing and the high scoring Ravens to 283 yards total – almost 200 below their average. The Ravens defense also played well, better than any of us expected. They were particularly effective taking George Kittle out of the passing game. He had only two catches for a mere 17 yards. That might have something to do with the run heavy game plan that had Kittle doing a lot of blocking.
The game was about as even as a game can be. Each team had one turnover, eight drives, rushing was 174 Niners and 178 Ravens, and passing was 157 Niners to 105 Ravens. Each team scored three points in the second half, with the Ravens taking a half time lead of 17-14 that proved to be the winning margin.
Raheem Mostert had a career day, rushing for 146 yards on only 19 carries. At least for this game, he supplanted Tevin Coleman as the lead back. Coleman had only 5 carries for 6 yards.
This game probably did more to legitimize the Niners, even in defeat, than any other victory this year. Anyone who doubted the team can now put a cork in it. They are for real.
But it’s still a loss. And if Seattle beats Minnesota on Monday night, the Niners will be in second place in the NFC West, even though they’ll have the same record as Seattle. Not what you’d expect with a 10-2 record. They can rectify that by beating the Seahawks in the final game of the regular season, assuming both teams are still tied going into that game.
Four games left to the season in what has been an unexpectedly exciting year. Should be fun – as long as they win all their remaining games. That would give them the top seed in the playoffs. Otherwise, they’ll be looking at the number five seed and a tough road schedule when the playoffs begin.