Who would have thought we would enjoy a Super Bowl in December, let alone on Christmas Night of all days!? That's what most folks out there are selling us as the Baltimore Ravens (11-3) will visit the San Fransisco 49ers (11-3) on Monday for a matchup pitting the two NFL conference leaders against each other.
The Ravens, riding a four-game winning streak and having won eight of their last nine games will face the 49ers, who have won six straight games with their last loss coming back at the end of October. It doesn't get much better, honestly.
These two have already clinched the postseason, are part of two different conferences, and might meet again in the Super Bowl come February, but for now are locked into facing each other on Christmas to bring us all of the football gifts we ever asked Santa for.
With the postseason berth in the bag and now aiming at earning a bye week as the top team in the AFC, Baltimore will surely bring all of their might (and then some) to Santa Clara to try and get a victory on the road in their final game away from Maryland this season.
Ravens vs. 49ers Week 16: All you need to know
When and where
As the great Notorious B.I.G. once said, the Flock is "going back to Cali, Cali." The Ravens will play football in Santa Clara as part of the Christmas Day slate of games cooked by the NFL for the 2023 regular season, putting the cap to a festive day around the nation and across the globe.
Baltimore, leading the AFC, meets its counterpart from the NFC as San Francisco finds itself in the same position only they belong to the NFC. Smeels like Super Bowl? Never say never, as that is exactly what happened a little over 10 years from this day when the Ravens went on to defeat the 49ers in the Harbaugh Bowl!
That's a story for a month-and-change from Dec. 25, though. For now, the Ravens and the 49ers will go against each other at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara on Monday at 8:15 p.m. ET (5:15 p.m. PT for those on the West Coast; 2:15 a.m. CET for those in Europe). It is the only time both franchises will meet this season and calendar year, with a potential rematch only possible if they both make it to the Super Bowl.
The forecast for Monday at kick-off time in Santa Clara, according to AccuWeather, predicts 41 degrees with clear to partly cloudy skies. There is no rain expected by the time the ball gets flying and the wind should be tame at NE 5 mph with gusts at just 6 mph. Proper conditions for a delightful matchup!
The Ravens are kinda healthy entering Christmas but not quite. After an up-and-down week of practices, the final injury report released by Baltimore included two players getting ruled out for Monday, both at the cornerback position: Arthur Maulet (knee) and Jalyn Armour-Davis (concussion).
Other than that, Odell Beckham Jr. is past his illness problems from early last week while Ronnie Stanley also ended the week practicing as a full participant after clearing the concussion protocol for good ahead of MNF.
That cannot be said about Zay Flowers, with the rookie practicing on a limited basis on Thursday (he missed Wednesday's bonus session) before logging back-to-back full practices to cap the week of training. However, the Ravens are listing the wideout as "questionable" to play on Christmas, and that shouldn't be suprising considering he was spotted on a walking boot last Wednesday. Considering Flower's availability a game-time decision.
The 49ers are boasting a couple of question marks having already ruled out defensive tackle Arik Armstead and entering Monday with Javon Hargrave listed as "qustionable" to play. Third-string wide receiver will miss this one with concussion symptomps while running back Elijah Mitchell is "questionable" along with Hargrave.
TV, radio, and streaming
For those watching on TV: WMAR Channel 2 (Baltimore), nationally on ABC/ESPN and more. ESPN crew Joe Buck (play-by-play), Troy Aikman (analyst), Lisa Salters (sideline)
For those listening on the radio: WBAL 1090 AM & 98 Rock 97.9 FM, Sirius XM Chs. 82 or 226. Ravens crew Gerry Sandusky (play-by-play), Rod Woodson (analyst). Westwood One Sports, Ryan Radtke (play-by-play), Derek Rackley (analyst)
You can stream the game if you have a subscription to YouTube TV's Sunday Ticket, and also locally at BatlimoreRavens.com and Ravens Mobile App. If you subscribe to NFL+, you can watch the game on replay.
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