3 big things: Baltimore Ravens beat San Francisco 49ers
The Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers. Here are three big things to think about:
1. No team can replicate what the 49ers did against the Ravens:
The San Francisco 49ers may have lost to the Baltimore Ravens, yet they came close to beating the purple and black. The 49ers did a couple of things that gave the Ravens trouble. First, they were able to run the football by getting Raheem Mostert around the edge. The 49ers had some lengthy drives featuring big plays by the running game. They did it differently than the Ravens, yet the 49ers gave Baltimore a bit of their own medicine. In most years this 49ers team would be leading the league in rushing; that’s how good the Ravens are at running the football.
The Ravens have been able to make teams one-dimensional by taking the running game completely out of the picture. The Ravens already know they can limit the ground game of the New England Patriots and the Houston Texans. There isn’t a team in the AFC playoff picture that replicates the challenges that the 49ers bring to the table.
The 49ers run game uses an athletic offensive line and the athleticism of Kyle Juszczyk and George Kittle to stretch out the defense. When you look at the teams left on the schedule, the only elite rushing team is the Buffalo Bills. The Ravens have a chance to prove that they don’t have a problem stopping the run, it’s just that the 49ers are that good at what they do.
The 49ers held the Ravens to 20 points, which is almost impossible to accomplish. No team has done a better job bottling up Jackson (and he still had over 100 rushing yards). The 49ers made it a tough game for Baltimore. It took the Ravens 38 rushing attempts to get 178 yards. The 49ers didn’t deliver the NFL with a blueprint for slowing down the Ravens. No team has the athleticism up front that the 49ers have. Let’s not also pretend that the weather didn’t slow things down for both teams. The Ravens were challenged by the 49ers and came out with a win. No team in the NFL matches up better against the Ravens than the 49ers. This has to make the Ravens the favorites to win the Super Bowl.