The game between the Niners and Ravens was advertised as the game of the year. It more than lived up to the hype and was indeed the best game of the NFL season. Both teams showcased why they have 10-2 records. It would be a treat to see them battle one more time in February.
As good as the Niners played, there are many negative articles about the Niners including Shanahan’s play calling and the team’s inability to win big games due to mistakes and turn-overs. Seems like they think that the Niners’ season is done.
Allow me to remind you that this is not the Trent Baalke years where he replaced Jim Harbaugh with Jim Tomsula (5-12) and Chip Kelly (2-14). Since then, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan have re-built the team which has depth at every position. With so many injuries this year, the “next man up” has stepped up every time leading them to a 10-2 record. Yesterday’s “next man up” was Marcell Harris who came in after Jaquiski Tartt was injured. All he did was have 5 tackles (2 solo) and stripped the ball away from Lamar Jackson for a key turn-over.
Also, allow me to remind you that the two Niner losses have been by a field goal on the last play of the game. A play or two in each loss could have easily gone in the Niners way.
This was an old fashioned smash ball game and the team that had the ball last won. The stats were even across the board. Rushing yards were even (178 yards for the Ravens and 174 for the Niners). Raheem Mostert, another “next man up” guy, had a career game rushing for 146 yards on 14 carries with a 40 yard TD run. Raheem deserves my game ball. The passing yardage edge went to the Niners (165 yards to the Raven’s 105 yards). Each team lost a fumble and the difference in the game was that the Ravens converted the Niners’ turn-over into a TD while the Niners didn’t take advantage of the turn-over that Harris forced.
To truly see how well that the Niners played in a hostile environment under wet and muddy conditions, they held the Ravens to 283 total yards while their average for the year has been 459 yards. Additionally, the Niners held the Ravens to 20 points while their average for the year has been 35 points (average of 45 points in their previous 3 games).
Nothing has changed, folks. The Niner Defense is as good as ever and the Offense is improving every week. Lastly, Kyle Shanahan is still the best play caller in the game !!!