49ers takeaways: What we learned in nail-biting 20-17 loss to Ravens


BALTIMORE -- Two NFL heavyweights went at it Sunday, and the fight lived up to expectations -- and then some.

On a cold, wet and thoroughly miserable afternoon, the Baltimore Ravens put together a drive to eat up the final 6:28 of the fourth quarter to have the final word against the 49ers.

Justin Tucker’s 49-yard field goal as time expired gave Baltimore a 20-17 victory over San Francisco at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens extended their win streak to eight games, as both teams now have 10-2 records -- tied for tops in the NFL.

Here are three things you need to know about the 49ers' loss in Week 13.

Two of the best in the league

What happens when the NFL’s best offense meets the league’s top defense?

The Ravens had averaged 433.3 yards of total offense entering the game. The 49ers’ defense had allowed just 248.0 yards through the first 12 weeks of the season.

On Sunday, the Ravens managed 283 yards. The ones that mattered were the 39 yards they marched to set up Tucker’s game-winning field goal.

The 49ers' defense showed it certainly has what it takes for this team to go as far as it wants in January -- and, possibly, February.

Jackson keeps 49ers guessing

There is no question that the 49ers would love another opportunity to play Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. If that occurs, it would be the first Sunday of February in the Super Bowl.

The 49ers have faced dual-threat quarterbacks Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson in recent weeks. But Jackson is the best in the game at handling the ball and creating deception.

Jackson rushed for 101 yards on 16 carries to become the first quarterback in NFL history with four 100-yard rushing games in a season.

Jackson elicited chants of “MVP! MVP!” from the home fans. And he looked the part in the first half while rushing for 57 yards and a touchdown. He also threw a 20-yard TD pass to tight end Mark Andrews between linebacker Fred Warner and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon in the first quarter.

The 49ers were called for two roughing-the-passer penalties, as Azeez Al-Shaair and Sheldon Day were flagged for illegal hits on Jackson. Nickel back K’Waun Williams, known for his sure tackling, was a victim of Jackson’s ability to make defenders miss in the open field.

Safety Marcell Harris, who entered the game when Jaquiski Tartt injured his ribs, made a big play for the defense when he ripped the ball out of Jackson’s hand on a third-down play on which the QB already had gained the necessary yardage.

[RELATED: Get the Baltimore perspective at NBC Sports Washington]

Mostert emerges in run game

Matt Breida missed his third consecutive game with an ankle sprain, and starting running back Tevin Coleman did not have much room to run. But the 49ers got a huge day from Raheem Mostert, who gained a career-high 146 yards on 19 carries and scored a touchdown.

Mostert got great blocks from Mike McGlinchey, Mike Person, George Kittle and Richie James on a 40-yard scoring run that tied the score in the second quarter.

But other than Mostert, the 49ers had difficulty sustaining anything on offense. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo used a variety of short passess to complete 15 of 21 attempts for 165 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions.

Coleman managed just 6 yards on five carries.

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