NFL

Baltimore Ravens: Lamar grabs stranglehold of MVP race as Ravens stun the 49ers.

The Baltimore Ravens stunned the 49ers on Christmas evening giving Lamar Jackson the MVP lead with two weeks left in the season. The easiest way the 49ers were able to stop Lamar Jackson was when a referee tripped Lamar Jackson resulting in a safety. From that point on the Baltimore Ravens dominated the 49ers as the Ravens defense forced five interceptions.

The Ravens defense stole the show making Brock Purdy look like the Mr. Irrelevant he was drafted as forcing Purdy to throw four interceptions. Kyle Hamilton was incredible for the Ravens intercepting Purdy twice one of which came on an all-time hustle play by Hamilton. Hamilton did leave the game with a knee injury which may be a huge issue for the Ravens Defense. The defense sacked Purdy and Darnold four times landing nine QB hits on the Niners duo.

The Ravens offense much like the defense was firing on all cylinders scoring 33 points in three quarters before taking their foot off the gas in the fourth quarter. Lamar Jackson passed for two touchdowns and 252 yards with the touchdowns going to Zay Flowers and Nelson Agholor. The Baltimore Ravens rushing attack didn’t get much work but still averaged four yards per carry as Lamar Jackson, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill did the heavy lifting.

For the 49ers the injuries leaving this game may be more concerning than the loss itself. Brock Purdy suffered his second stinger in two weeks. Trent Williams left the game with a groin injury, his backup Jaylon Moore suffered a concussion, and his replacement Aaron Banks suffered a toe injury. It’s uncertain what the 49ers will do at left tackle heading into their game against the Washington Commanders but, they should be able to survive and advance with little struggle.

Big Picture take aways for the Baltimore Ravens and 49ers

In the big picture this was a massive week for both the 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens. The 49ers now are in a fight for the number one seed in the NFC. The Eagles and Lions are both 11-4 with the 49ers and the Cowboys are just behind them at 10-5. The Baltimore Ravens now play the Dolphins in a game that will in all likelihood decided the AFC top seed. Looking back, it’s pretty remarkable that no team reached out to the Ravens with a trade offer for Lamar Jackson during the contract negotiations that turned sour. The Panthers organization would feel much more secure with Lamar than they currently do with Bryce Young.

Note: Stats via ESPN