Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan looking to capitalize on opportunities vs. Ravens, 49ers watching weather

Nov 28, 2019 at 3:15 PM--

The weather conditions when the San Francisco 49ers face the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium are expected to be poor. Rain is in the forecast. It's not expected to be the monsoon-like conditions the Niners faced when playing the Washington Redskins, but it could be a significant factor in how the game plays out.

The weather conditions aren't something head coach Kyle Shanahan and company are obsessing over just yet. It can't be because, as Shanahan explained during his weekly KNBR interview on Wednesday, you won't know what you're up against until you get there.

Factors like the field condition and wind won't be known until Shanahan sees it first hand. He explained that in that game against Washington, the 49ers didn't know the conditions were going to be that poor until pre-game warm-ups. Shanahan figured it would be nearly impossible to pass the football.

Garoppolo completed just 12 passes for 151 yards — both single-game career lows as a starter — and an interception.

Shanahan believed the 49ers could get something out of their passing game after watching his quarterback throw during warm-ups. Garoppolo was handling the football better than anyone else that day, and it was enough to escape with a 9-0 win.

"We'll see how it is on Sunday, and how that could affect both teams, but I usually don't like [the rain] or want it as much because I feel we're a team that's predicated on speed, and I think rain always slows you down a little bit," Shanahan explained on the "Tolbert, Krueger and Brooks" show. "I don't mind too much their quarterback (Lamar Jackson) slowing down, though.

"So I don't exactly know how that will affect (us). I know they're going to run the ball, whether it's a monsoon or whether it's 90 degrees out and not raining at all. I don't think it's going to change what they do, but you've got to sit there, and watch, and see if it makes them better or worse. Then you've got to adjust accordingly."

Is this the type of game where Shanahan wouldn't mind playing on a field as poor as the one at FedExField?

"This would be the one time only that I would love to play on that," Shanahan responded.

Sunday's game has turned into one of the most anticipated matchups of the season and is being touted as a heavyweight bout between two of the best teams in their respective conferences. Each squad is exceptionally talented, which means it will come down to which side can better take advantage of its opportunities. And there aren't expected to be a whole lot of them.

"I know we'll have a few [bad looks], but hopefully we can keep them offbeat a little bit, stop them on a few third downs, and hopefully we can manage the clock pretty good," Shanahan said. "That's how you limit those opportunities."

Shanahan looked back at the game between the New England Patriots and the Ravens, a game Baltimore won 37-20. That final score is a bit misleading, said the coach. Shanahan felt New England played the Ravens "alright." Baltimore led 24-20 heading into the fourth quarter, but things just got out of hand at the end.

"They do a lot of risky stuff on defense," Shanahan explained. "They'll all-out blitz you at any single time, which can get you in some really bad plays, but people who do that are also going to get you in some really good opportunities. But you're not going to get a ton of them, so when you do, you need to score. It can't just be a first down. If you do that, then you've got a chance for it to look real good.

"You've got guys like Cleveland who I think put close to 50 (40, actually) up on them, and that was a pretty good game, but it wasn't just because it was a well-oiled machine all game. It's because they caught them in a few good looks, and the guys made some plays."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Shanahan below.

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