In the most wonderfull time of the year and with many (if not all, including Mike "Flores" Florio) experts picking the San Francisco 49ers to win on Christmas Night, the Baltimore Ravens visited Santa Clara, played the role of the Grinch, and ruined Monday for the hosts by beating the Niners 33-19 in hostile territory.
Lamar Jackson, the Ravens franchise quarterback, significantly strengthened his case to win his second Most Valuable Player award (as if there was any doubt he deserves it, anyway) with another ridiculous, uncontested, undisputable performance against the San Francisco 49ers.
Jackson onboarded the plane back to Baltimore having completed 23-of-35 passes for 252 yards and throwing two touchdown passes. Not happy enough with that, he rushed the ball for an extra 46 yards, avoided throwing interceptions, and didn't fumble a single ball. Uh, oh.
Even though the NFL tried to help Brock Purdy by throwing one of the referees to the ground in the end zone so he could trip Lamar into a safetyat the start of the matchup, Jackson quickly regained control, bounced back, and went on to destroy the Niners on their home.
Thank God, the referee reached out to Jackson after the game to apologize for his fall and subsequent safety call, per Jamison Hensley of ESPN. "He fell but he came back and apologized," Jackson said postgame. "It’s all good but those two points helped them out a lot. I knew that I was going to get away."
Jackson's performance was a stark contrast to 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy. Mr. Irrelevant was exactly that: a non-factor in Monday's matchup. Purdy completed just 18 passes for 255 against the Ravens, threw no touchdowns, and found a way to getting picked off four times.
Yes, four interceptions, folks, the first time a 49ers quarterback has thrown that many interceptions in a game since Colin Kaepernick in 2015, per AP. I guess he should be happy none of those went for a pick-six? Sheesh...
San Francisco's Christian McCaffrey stood out above all Niners playmakers despite the loss, rushing for 102 yards and scoring a touchdown. He added 28 receiving yards to his statline, and that served him well to set a franchise record with his eighth consecutive game of at least 100 yards from scrimmage.
Following Monday's results, the MVP race odds were updated, placing Jackson at the forefront. Jackson's odds were listed at -160. Jackson is now the no. 1 candidate to win the MVP after doing so back in 2019 as the unanimous choice for the award, just the second time that had (and still has) happened in NFL history.
Meanwhile, McCaffrey's odds improved to +325, putting him in second place. In contrast, Purdy's odds fell to +850, significantly impacting his MVP contention by dropping him behind teammate CMC, a running back of all positions...
This new development means Purdy will have it nearly impossible now to become the first-ever Mr. Irrelevant (last draft pick) to win the MVP. Cold world, try next year.