Darin McCann makes his pick:
The 10-1 San Francisco 49ers will bring their diverse stable of running backs and stout defense to M&T Bank Stadium to take on the Baltimore Ravens in what many believe could be a Super Bowl preview. Both teams are coming off impressive prime-time wins, with the 49ers blasting the Green Bay Packers and the Ravens destroying the Los Angeles Rams on the road. Buckle up. This could be a tight one.
Like most games, this one will be decided in the trenches, and via explosive plays. Both teams are going to want to establish the run, and use play-action to get those chunk plays that could be the difference in the game.
What scares me, besides spiders, is the ability to disrupt offensive schemes that this 49ers defensive line has shown. They are a penetrating line, featuring five former first-round picks, and the Ravens will be down their starting center.
On the flip side, while both teams are run-dependent in scheme, the Ravens currently rank third in the league in rush defense, while San Francisco sits at a pedestrian 19th. And that’s without having faced this Ravens offense yet, which tends to send defenses tumbling down the rankings (see Houston and the Rams).
This will be a tougher game than we’ve seen the past few weeks for the Ravens, as San Francisco boasts a top-shelf pass defense and a tight end that might be able to make hay in the underneath regions of the Ravens defense.
• Mark Andrews goes for 125 yards and a touchdown.
• Lamar Jackson throws a pick and loses a fumble, but still generates more than 300 yards of offense and three touchdowns.
• Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards combine for 140 yards.
Ravens 31 49ers 23