The only other time the 49ers faced Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, they were a lot more concerned with his running ability.
Jackson remains a dynamic threat with his running ability, but 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa believes his passing skills are now at least as dangerous.
“I don’t remember much, but our game plan is a lot different this time around,” Bosa said of the time the 49ers and Ravens met on Dec. 1, 2019.
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It was a rainy day in Baltimore during Bosa's rookie season. Jackson rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown while throwing for just 105 yards and a touchdown in the Ravens’ 20-17 victory.
“He’s evolved a lot, so he plays the game differently,” Bosa said of Jackson. “He’s trying to sit in (the pocket) a little more and go through his reads.
“(They’re) not quite as run-heavy, but they’re the No. 1 rushing team in the league, so that’s obviously something we’re going to have to deal with.”
The Ravens come to Levi’s Stadium on Christmas night as the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The 49ers are also 11-3 and sit atop the NFC standings.
San Francisco 49ers
Jackson joins 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy and running back Christian McCaffrey as one of the top candidates for NFL MVP with three games remaining in the season.
Jackson has rushed for 741 yards and five touchdowns, while throwing for 3,105 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Bosa suggested the approach toward facing Jackson is far different than what the 49ers did three weeks ago against Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts. Jackson appears more willing to remain in the pocket and go through his progression.
Bosa outlined the challenge the 49ers’ pass rush faces against Jackson, a six-year pro who was 2019 NFL MVP.
“Making him uncomfortable in the passing game, not rushing scared,” Bosa said. “(And) not trying to mirror like we did sometimes against some of the other mobile guys, but getting on him and wrapping him up so he can’t break tackles.”