The Baltimore Ravens didn’t have it easy in Week 13 but grinded for a big win over the 49ers. Studs and duds from the big victory at M&T Bank Stadium.
After a win against the visiting 49ers, the Baltimore Ravens now have eight straight victories and, with a Patriots loss on Sunday Night Football, have moved into the No. 1 seed in the AFC. However, the win over San Francisco at M&T Bank Stadium did not come in the same fashion as many of the previous ones.
The Niners looked every bit like contenders out of the NFC with the way they defended Lamar Jackson and the Ravens explosive offense on Sunday afternoon. It speaks to the quality of Baltimore though that they were able to not just roll over an opponent and still grind out a huge win that puts them in the catbird seat.
It wasn’t always pretty but the Baltimore Ravens got it done in Week 13. And these are the studs and duds from the winning effort.
Stud: Lamar Jackson
Was this the best performance that we’ve seen from Lamar Jackson this season? Not in the slightest. He only threw for 105 yards on the day and had just two touchdowns in total while also losing his first fumble of the season. And yet, the leading MVP candidate in the league was still the most dynamic weapon on the field and the X-factor in the action.
Jackson finished the game as the Ravens’ leading rusher, taking 16 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown. Most importantly though, he didn’t panic and struggled when things weren’t as easy as they’d been in previous weeks. He looked like the leader that he needs to be and made enough plays to win a tough football game. Sometimes, that’s what you need from the MVP.
Dud: Run defense
Especially with Matt Breida out, you would think that if the Ravens were able to shut down Tevin Coleman on Sunday afternoon, they would be able to keep the 49ers from running the ball effectively. But while they held Coleman to six yards on five carries, Baltimore’s defense still conceded 6.0 yards per carry on the day in San Fran effort led by Raheem Mostert.
Mostert got the hot hand midway through the game and the Niners rode him when that happened. The third man on the backfield depth chart had 19 carries for 146 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown run on the day. If the Ravens want to control the game with their own rushing attack moving forward, their linebackers and defensive line can’t get gashed like that against quality teams.