Lamar Jackson

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Lamar Jackson's teammates lifting him up after costly turnover is the best thing you'll see today

Lamar Jackson's teammates lifting him up after costly turnover is the best thing you'll see today

Baltimore's victory over San Francisco was the most highly anticipated matchup of the season. The Ravens, who were 9-2 at the time, entered the game on a 7-game winning streak. The 49ers held the league's best record at 10-1. The main course of the matchup was Ravens' QB Lamar Jackson, squaring off with the top defense in the NFL. 

During an important moment of the game, Jackson fumbled the ball for the first time this season — incredible right? 

What's even more incredible is the response he garnered from his teammates:

It was Jackson's first turnover in nearly two months, but in true MVP fashion (yes, I said it) he regrouped and got his team in position for a Justin Tucker game-winning field goal. 

This Ravens team is undoubtedly special, and moments like this make it even more difficult to root against the squad. 

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Richard Sherman defends 49ers’ hits on Lamar Jackson: ‘It is a tough position to put the defense in’

Richard Sherman defends 49ers’ hits on Lamar Jackson: ‘It is a tough position to put the defense in’

BALTIMORE — After Sunday’s game, there was somewhat of a bitter taste in the mouths of some Ravens players about the hits that Lamar Jackson took from the 49ers. 

One, in particular, a hit from 49ers safety Jimmie Ward in the third quarter, left Ravens players and coaches — notably coach John Harbaugh — furious with the lack of a penalty. 

"I don't care,” Harbaugh said in his Monday press conference. “I’m not getting into it. Our job is to protect our quarterback. The officials’ job is to officiate the game. They called two roughing the passer (penalties) when he was in the pocket. It is what it is."

Harbaugh had to be held back by Jackson after the hit in question from Ward. 

Richard Sherman, who received an earful from Harbaugh after the play, had his own version of the play. 

“...That’s the thing the league needs to clarify as a defensive player, you don’t want to hit the quarterback, you want to stay off of him, but when he is about to run, there is a fine line between him faking like he is going out and getting an extra six or seven yards, and him going out of bounds,” Sherman said. 

While he clearly took issue with the outrage, Sherman sees an issue for players that could pop up as they face more mobile quarterbacks who frequently escape the pocket.

“That is where it is tough on defensive players,” Sherman continued. “Every play where the quarterback slides, they are like, ‘Oh my God, that should be a flag,’ but he was running just a half-second ago, and you are making a split-second decision like, ‘Hey I’ve got to tackle him,’ and then he slides. It is a tough position to put the defense in, but I think our guys did a great job.”  

Jackson was on the receiving end of two roughing the passer penalties but otherwise didn’t draw a call outside the pocket all afternoon. 

“They were going after him for sure,” Marshal Yanda said. “That’s football. Obviously, when he is a runner, they are not going to let up. That is part of the playing and that is good defense.”

Sunday’s game was the first time in weeks where the Ravens found themselves in a close game, and against one of the NFL’s top defenses, there was a fair share of big hits to go around.

“I think they definitely were trying to take advantage of him as far as once he got past the line of scrimmage or running out of bounds,” Orlando Brown Jr. said. “A few times, I think it should’ve been a penalty but that’s not my responsibility, that’s on the refs, but Lamar did a great job popping back up and getting right back to it.”

If anything, the 49ers may have given the Ravens a look at what opposing defenses may do to take Jackson off his game.

“We’re just going to fight our way out of it,” Mark Ingram said. “Of course they’re going to take shots at Lamar. He’s an electric athlete. When he has the ball in his hands, standing in the pocket, he can deliver it. But we’ve got his back. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure they don’t get to him.”

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Ravens and 49ers primed for wet Sunday in potential Super Bowl preview

Ravens and 49ers primed for wet Sunday in potential Super Bowl preview

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Earl Thomas isn’t shy about where he thinks the Ravens will end the season. It’s just who he thinks the Ravens will play. 

Ahead of one of the NFL’s most anticipated matchups of the season, the Ravens and 49ers are set to play for bragging rights as potentially the league’s best team. 

And the possibility of a February matchup is still in everyone’s minds, even as they’ll kick-off December at M&T Bank Stadium.

"You think the 49ers are going to the Super Bowl?" Thomas began on Wednesday. "It could be. Let's see. ... When the Super Bowl comes, whoever we play, they're going to be in trouble."

With rain in the forecast, two of the NFL’s best teams will matchup on a wet afternoon in Baltimore. 

The Ravens enter at 9-2, the 49ers at 10-1. 

“Big matchup,” Marlon Humphrey said. “Their resume speaks for itself. They’ve definitely been going through teams pretty easily, and they have a really good defense and a really good offense. I think it will be a good game.”

The forecasted rain likely favors neither side, as the Ravens and 49ers rank first and second, respectively, in rushing offense. 

The Ravens average just over 210 yards per game, while the 49ers are at 145 yards per game. 

“We practiced with wet balls yesterday, and our equipment staff did a great job of soaking those things pretty good,” Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. “Really, it affects the footing, obviously, for every player on the field. That can work as a positive or a negative to anybody, really. I don’t think it’s specifically harder on the defense.”

But the biggest aspect of Sunday’s game is the possibility that the two teams will meet in the Super Bowl. 

The Ravens have won seven-straight games and been dominant during that stretch, outscoring teams 202-62. The 49ers have lost just once this season, a loss in overtime to the Seahawks.

No matter the stakes, the Ravens are reiterating, publicly, that they’re taking the season one game at a time. 

“It’s definitely humbling, but right now, we’re just trying to take it one game at a time,” Willie Snead IV said. “We know the potential that we could have. We know the matchup. The last time the Ravens were in the Super Bowl, it was huge. But right now, the whole reason that we’re in this position is [because] we’ve taken it one game at a time.”

And led by their quarterback, who mentioned the Super Bowl on his first night as a Raven, that’s still the larger prize. 

“Every team wants to chase the Super Bowl,” Lamar Jackson said. “That's why we're playing the game. Not just, 'Oh, I want to win this game.' Win one game and go 1-15 – that's not a goal. Everyone wants to win the Super Bowl at the start of the season, but it just takes us a long time to get to it.”

The 49ers enter with likely the best defensive line the Ravens will face all season long, and one of the only running games comparable to the Ravens in the NFL.

Sunday’s game, no matter the result, will go a long way in setting a tone for which team cements themselves in the top two of the league.

“I feel like we have to continue to take that approach, and everything that everybody is talking about will come up,” Snead said. “It’s just going to take some time, and we can’t look too far ahead, because we have the 49ers in our face.”

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