Ravens vow to be ready should they face 49ers in Super Bowl rematch

Ravens vow to be ready should they face 49ers in Super Bowl rematch

BALTIMORE – The Baltimore Ravens emerged from the cold and rain Sunday with a hard-fought three-point victory over the 49ers.

The 49ers were dealt their second three-point loss of the season in a game that featured both teams bringing everything they had. The Ravens and 49ers head into Week 14 with 10-2 records after Baltimore’s 20-17 victory on Justin Tucker’s game-ending field goal.

“Just a great win,” Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. “(The 49ers are) very good football team that we played against. They played a very good game. They had a plan. It was obvious what the plan was, all three phases, and it was a gritty game. It’s a grit win for us, all three phases, definitely a team win.”

Ravens players on both sides of the ball acknowledged the 49ers are a good team that entered Sunday’s game with sound offensive and defensive game plans.

“We don’t really know how other teams are going to game plan us,” Baltimore offensive guard Marshall Yanda said. “Everybody has a little bit of a different idea on how to stop us. That was definitely what they wanted to do. Give them credit, they played us tough. It was a tight possession ball game. We’re excited to get that win.”

The 49ers own the league’s top-ranked defense in yards allowed, entering the game allowing 248 yards per game. Baltimore’s offense is the best in the league, entering with a 433.3 average. The weather conditions surely were a factor, but the Ravens managed only 283 total yards.

“They’re a great team – well-coached, physical, and they run the ball (well) and a solid defense,” said Ravens running back Mark Ingram, who rushed for 59 yards on 15 carries. “They’re a great team in the league, and this was a great win for us. It wasn’t pretty, but we were able to gut it out, and that’s what great teams do.”

Tight end Hayden Hurst echoed those same sentiments.

“They came in here, and the plan was to play physical," Hurst said. "That was a really great football game. Hats off to them. They had a great game plan, but we just executed down the stretch.”

The Ravens converted a fourth down on their final drive, while using the final 6:28 of the game to set up Tucker for his 49-yard field goal as time expired.

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, a strong MVP candidate, rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries but threw for just 105 yards.

When asked if the 49ers’ defense was the quickest he faced this season, Jackson noted how disciplined defensive coordinator Robert Saleh's unit is.

“No, I wouldn’t say that. I wouldn’t say they’re the quickest, but it was all 11 at the ball at all times every play. So you’ve got to give them credit. They were flying.”

[RELATED: Why Juszczyk thinks 49ers will bounce back after Ravens loss]

Afterward, there was a sense that it is a distinct possibility these teams could navigate their ways through the playoffs in their respective conferences to meet again in the Super Bowl in Miami.

Both teams left the game feeling certain that errors made on Sunday can be corrected. For players on the Ravens' defense, they did not like how 49ers running back Raheem Mostert tore them apart with 146 yards and a touchdown on 19 rushing attempts.

“I just think those guys, especially (Mostert), are really, really good athletes,” Ravens defensive tackle Michael Pierce said. “We’ve seen it. It wasn’t anything new, per se. We saw it on film, but they’re great athletes. They get the edge on a lot of people. Unfortunately, they got it (Sunday), but we came out victorious.

“If we see them again, we’ll be ready, for sure.”

49ers' K'Waun Williams describes challenge of covering George Kittle

49ers' K'Waun Williams describes challenge of covering George Kittle

What makes 49ers All-Pro tight end George Kittle a nightmare for defensive coordinators are the dilemmas he creates.

He has the size and strength to block defensive ends. Linebackers cannot keep up with him in the passing game. And he can physically overwhelm most defensive backs.

K’Waun Williams, who has established himself as one of the top nickel backs in the league, knows what it’s like to go up against Kittle in the slot on the 49ers practice field.

“You just got to be disciplined from the start of the down to the end, because he’s real crafty, strong, and he’s just relentless in everything he does,” Williams said. “He’s willing to block in the run game. So you just got to be on you’re ‘A game’ going against a guy like that.”

[RELATEDGeorge Kittle, 49ers get to only reasonable destination with extension]

The 49ers on Thursday signed Kittle to a five-year, $75 million contract extension with $30 million fully guaranteed.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]


49ers' Kyle Shanahan 'pumped' about George Kittle receiving special deal

49ers' Kyle Shanahan 'pumped' about George Kittle receiving special deal

All-Pro tight end George Kittle had one year remaining on his contract. The 49ers, technically, could have held onto him for at least through the 2021 season with the franchise tag.

And the stars did not exactly align for a mega-deal this offseason. The nation is in the midst of a pandemic and NFL revenues – and next year’s salary cap – are expected to plummet.

“But when you have a guy like George who is different, and is special, and it’s not just about being the best tight end in the NFL, it’s who he is after that, to me, makes you want to get that stuff done when you might not actually have to right now,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Thursday morning on KNBR’s Murph & Mac Show.

Kittle and the 49ers agreed to a five-year, $75 million contract extension through the 2025 season. The deal contains $30 million in fully guaranteed money.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

The timing of the agreement comes two days before the 49ers are scheduled to hit their Santa Clara practice field for the first time during training camp.

It also comes after his third NFL season, which is the first time a player can renegotiate his original rookie contract. Kittle entered the league in 2017 as a fifth-round draft pick from Iowa.

[RELATEDGeorge Kittle, 49ers get to only reasonable destination with extension]

Since entering the league, Kittle has 2,945 yards receiving, the most for any tight end through three seasons.

“He’s earned it,” Shanahan said of the contract. “He does everything the right way. It starts with how talented and good you play on Sunday, which he does better than any tight end in the league. But after that. The way the guy takes care of himself. The way he works year-round to put his body in a position to stay healthy with the way he plays. It makes you believe in the guy.

“It makes you believe in not what he has done but what he’s going to do. When you have a guy like that, it makes it a lot easier for the owner to commit to him like that. We were just pumped to get it done because it’s something we all were dying to get something like that done with a player like George, and thankfully we did.”