49ers

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.”

NFL playoff picture: Where 49ers stand in NFC after Seahawks' loss

NFL playoff picture: Where 49ers stand in NFC after Seahawks' loss

The 49ers earned a huge road win over the Saints to improve to 11-2, but that wasn't the end of their good news on Sunday.

Hours after San Francisco prevailed 48-46 in New Orleans, the 49ers' temporary place atop the NFC standings was solidified for at least the next week after the Rams defeated the Seahawks 28-12 in Los Angeles. With the loss, Seattle dropped to 10-3 on the season and fell out of the No. 1 overall seed in the conference.

The 49ers' win combined with the Seahawks' loss puts San Francisco in the driver's seat to win the NFC West, but with Seattle holding the tiebreaker, the division might come down to the Week 17 game between the two teams.

However, it is possible for San Francisco to clinch the division title before Week 17. That would require the 49ers to win each of their next two games against the Falcons and Rams -- both at home -- and the Seahawks to lose at least one of their next two. San Francisco would also clinch a first-round bye in that scenario.

Seattle travels to Carolina to face the sliding Panthers in Week 15 before returning home to host the Cardinals in Week 16. The Seahawks rightfully will be favored in each of those games -- just as the 49ers will be in theirs -- but crazier things have happened.

[RELATED: 49ers disappointed with lack of defensive execution in win]

Here's what the NFC playoff picture looks like heading into Giants-Eagles on Monday night:

  1. San Francisco 49ers (11-2)
  2. Green Bay Packers (10-3)
  3. New Orleans Saints (10-3)
  4. Dallas Cowboys (6-7)
  5. Seattle Seahawks (10-3)
  6. Minnesota Vikings (9-4)

George Kittle credits gator-feet necklace for 49ers' win over Saints

George Kittle credits gator-feet necklace for 49ers' win over Saints

49ers fans traveled well to New Orleans for the game against the Saints on Sunday.

But it was a 49ers fan born and raised in The Big Easy that might have had the biggest hand in San Francisco's thrilling 48-46 win.

After the game, All-Pro tight end George Kittle was wearing an unusual necklace at his locker and at his press conference.

The necklace, sent to Kittle by the unidentified fan, was made of gator feet.

Yes, alligator feet.

Kittle and the 49ers needed all the help they could get to win a crazy, back-and-forth game in the Superdome.

After the Saints took a one-point lead with 53 seconds left in regulation, it was Kittle's incredible 39-yard catch and run on fourth-and-2 that helped set up Robbie Gould's game-winning 30-yard field goal as time expired.

[RELATED: Kittle fulfills promise to York family]

Kittle finished the game with six catches for 67 yards and one touchdown.

We recommend that Kittle continue to bring the gator-feet necklace with him to the rest of the 49ers games this season.