Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Jerry Rice: 49ers should have given the football to Raheem Mostert on 4th-and-1 vs. Ravens

Dec 2, 2019 at 10:43 AM--

Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice joined 95.7 The Game, as he does each week during the season, and discussed the San Francisco 49ers' second loss of the season — a hard-fought 20-17 defeat against the Baltimore Ravens.

San Francisco had opportunities to win the game. One of those crucial opportunities came on 4th-and-1 in the fourth quarter at the Ravens' 35-yard line with the game tied 17-17.

Running back Raheem Mostert was having a career day and finished with 146 rushing yards and a score on 19 carries. Giving the ball to the player with the hot hand seemed like a good option. Or the team could have let quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo hold onto the football and try to pick up a yard.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan elected to have his quarterback throw over the middle. Ravens defensive lineman Chris Wormley batted down the Garoppolo-thrown pass at the line of scrimmage, and the ball was turned over on downs.

The Ravens proceeded to drive down the field for the game-winning field goal.

Rice wasn't too fond of Shanahan's decision to throw the football on the critical 4th-and-1 play.

"We've got to find a way," Rice said Monday on the "Jo, Lo and Dibbs" show. "Fourth-and-1, Lo (Lorenzo Neal), you've got to give the ball to that running back. You've got to leave it up to that offensive line to get you that one yard. That hurt us during this football game, and it also hurt us during the game against Seattle."

After the game, Shanahan discussed the decision to throw the football.

"I didn't mind the decision at all, not running," Shanahan told reporters. "But I wish I called a better pass play."

As reported by Peter Panacy on Sunday, the 49ers coach admitted that the play fans saw on the field wasn't the initial call, and had to be changed.

"We didn't like the look we had out there," Shanahan said.

Rice continued: "After that timeout, they came back in the shotgun, and I knew that was not the right decision there. I think that was a measuring point for the 49ers. I feel like they're going to face this team again, and it's going to be in the Super Bowl."

The 49ers are now at 10-2 and will be hoping for a Minnesota Vikings win over the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night. Otherwise, San Francisco may find itself plummeting to the No. 5 seed in the NFC playoff standings, rather than remaining at No. 1. The 49ers still have the Seahawks one more time on their schedule, though.

Regardless of Monday's outcome, San Francisco has another tough test this weekend against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

"This team (the Ravens) is going to be the team that's probably going to be in the Super Bowl," Rice added, "and I'm still thinking the Niners are going to be there too. New Orleans is going to be a great test for us, but I feel the Niners can go into New Orleans and win that football game."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Rice below.

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