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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


Bah Humbug! Ravens ride five INTs to 33-19 Christmas smackdown of 49ers

Dec 25, 2023 at 8:40 PM--


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1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
BAL 3 13 17 0 33
SF 5 7 0 7 19

A much-hyped marquee Christmas matchup between the NFL's top two teams turned out to be somewhat of a dud, as the Baltimore Ravens played the role of the Grinch at Levi's Stadium Monday night by laying a 33-19 loss on the San Francisco 49ers.

In a game that featured the NFL's top three MVP contenders, it was Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson who emerged as the frontrunner after throwing for 252 yards on 23-of-35 passing with two touchdowns and zero interceptions along with seven carries for 45 yards. 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy had a performance that will likely cost him a shot at the MVP, throwing for zero touchdowns and four interceptions on 18-of-32 passing, while the third candidate, 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey, ran for 103 yards and one touchdown on 14 carries while catching six passes for 28 yards. The 49ers also didn't help themselves in terms of penalties, committing 10 infractions for 102 yards.

Quarterback Sam Darnold, who entered the game in relief of Purdy in the fourth quarter, threw for 81 yards, one touchdown and one interception on 8-of-14 passing.

First Half


The game got off to an unusual start, with the 49ers taking a 2-0 lead on a safety early in the first quarter. The 49ers looked to be heading into the end zone after forcing a three-and-out from the Ravens to start the game, as two completions for 71 yards (one of them for 58 yards on a 3rd-and-7) to tight end George Kittle set them up in the red zone. But their drive came to an end when Purdy was picked off in the end zone by safety Kyle Hamilton, who returned the ball to the 8-yard line.


The safety came during the next possession on a bizarre 3rd-and-5 play from the 13-yard line. Jackson ran backwards into the end zone while being pressured by the 49ers defense, then tripped over an official and tossed the ball away while falling to the ground. Jackson was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone, giving the 49ers a safety and a 2-0 lead.


The 49ers followed the safety with a 10-play, 52-yard drive that ended with a 45-yard field goal from kicker Jake Moody to take a 5-0 lead. The Ravens answered with an eight-play, 65-yard drive (with 36 yards coming on pass interference and holding penalties on 49ers safety Tashaun Gipson) that culminated with a 28-yard field goal from kicker Justin Tucker to cut the lead to 5-3 with just over a minute remaining in the first quarter.

Momentum continued moving in the Ravens' direction on the next possession after Purdy threw his second interception of the first half. The 49ers moved past the Ravens' 40-yard line after 20-yard completion to Kittle and a 15-yard completion to wide receiver Deebo Samuel, then cornerback Brandon Stephens got into the backfield and batted a pass from Purdy into the arms of cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who gave the Ravens possession at their own 47-yard line.


The Ravens took full advantage of the interception with an 11-play, 53-yard drive that ended on a 1-yard touchdown run from running back Gus Edwards. After a two-yard run from Justice Hill on the first play of the drive, the Ravens ran nine consecutive passing plays before facing a 4th-and-Goal from the 1-yard line. Edwards ran in from there for his 12th rushing touchdown of the season to give the Ravens a 10-5 lead.


Things got messier for the 49ers on the next possession, which ended in the third interception of the first half for Purdy. The 49ers faced a 3rd-and-5 at their own 30-yard line when Purdy escaped the pocket while under pressure and had another pass land in the arms of Hamilton, this time after it was tipped by Humphrey. A 15-yard chop block penalty on McCaffrey was tacked onto the play and gave the Ravens the ball at the 49ers' 20-yard line. The 49ers responded on defense with a three-and-out to force a 41-yard field goal from Tucker for a 13-5 lead.


McCaffrey got things back on track for the 49ers on the next drive, which spanned 67 yards on six plays -- five of which were on runs or catches from McCaffrey for a total of 65 yards. A 39-yard run from McCaffrey on the fifth play of the drive put the 49ers at a 1st-and-Goal at the Ravens' 9-yard line, then McCaffrey plowed into the end zone on the next play to trim the deficit to 13-12.


The Ravens took over at their own 25-yard line and appeared to be in danger of coming up short before the half when they faced a 3rd-and-16 from the 49ers' 41-yard line with 24 seconds remaining in the half. That's when Jackson pulled a highlight play out of his bag of tricks when he escaped the pass rush for a 31-yard run to the 11-yard line. Tucker added a 28-yard field goal two plays later to give the Ravens a 16-12 lead at the half.


The 49ers outgained the Ravens 231-to-176 in the first half and averaged 8.6 yards per play, but the turnovers from Purdy led to the difference on the scoreboard. Purdy finished the half 9-of-16 for 144 yards while Jackson completed 16-of-27 passes for 129 yards.

Second Half


The second half got off to a miserable start for the 49ers, who were held to a three-and-out on their opening possession then allowed the Ravens to begin in excellent field position after giving up a 23-yard punt return to Tylan Wallace combined with an unnecessary roughness penalty on punter Mitch Wishnowsky. The Ravens took over at the 49ers' 44-yard line, then quickly moved to the 5-yard line on a 39-yard catch and run by Edwards. They extended their lead to 23-12 two plays later when Jackson connected with wide receiver Nelson Agholor for a six-yard touchdown.


Disaster struck again for the 49ers on the next offensive play when Purdy was hit as he threw and tossed an interception to linebacker Patrick Queen, who returned the ball to the 9-yard line. Jackson then connected with a wide open Zay Flowers on the next play for the Ravens' second touchdown in 18 seconds of play and a 30-12 lead.


A Ravens three-and-out followed the touchdown, then with Darnold still in the game, the 49ers moved down to the Ravens' 1-yard line. But the 49ers moved backwards after a sack and a penalty, and on a 4th-and-Goal from the 17-yard line, Darnold was picked off by safety Marcus Williams to seal the game.


The Ravens moved to 12-3 on the season with the win, while the 49ers fell to 11-4 with the loss.

Game Notes: Purdy (shoulder) was cleared to play after leaving the game due to injury but remained on the sidelines... Left tackle Trent Williams (groin) left the game for the 49ers and did not return, as did offensive linemen Jaylon Moore (head) and Aaron Banks (toe)... The 49ers are now 0-38 under head coach Kyle Shanahan when trailing in the fourth quarter by eight or more points... The Ravens now have six wins in their eight-game series against the 49ers. The last win for the 49ers came on October 18, 2015 at Levi's Stadium (25-20)... The 49ers were 6.5-point favorites coming into the game... Next up for the 49ers is their final road game of the season -- a 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT kickoff at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland against the Washington Commanders (4-11) on New Year's Eve (FOX). The 49ers will then finish their season at home against the Los Angeles Rams on January 7. The Ravens will wrap up their schedule with home games against the Miami Dolphins (Dec. 31) and Pittsburgh Steelers (Jan. 7)... The 49ers are now tied with Detroit (11-4) and Philadelphia (11-4) for the top seed in the NFC and may wind up needing wins in both of their games to hold onto that spot, while the Ravens can clinch the AFC's top seed with a win over the Dolphins.

BAL Team Stats SF
241 Passing Yards 308
102 Rushing Yards 121
343 Total Yards 429
7.2 Avg Yards per Pass 7.3
3.92 Avg Yards per Run 6.72
0 Fumbles Lost 0
0 Int Thrown 5
2 Sacks Allowed 4
00:31:14 Time of Pos 00:28:46
6 Penalties 10

Ravens Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Lamar Jackson 23/35 252 2 0
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Lamar Jackson 7 45 6.4 0
Gus Edwards 9 31 3.4 1
Justice Hill 10 26 2.6 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Zay Flowers 9 13 72 1
Isaiah Likely 3 4 56 0
Gus Edwards 1 1 39 0
Justice Hill 3 3 31 0
Charlie Kolar 1 1 17 0
Rashod Bateman 1 4 14 0
Odell Beckham 2 3 13 0
Nelson Agholor 3 4 10 1
Patrick Ricard 0 1 0 0
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Justin Tucker 4 4 41 3
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Jordan Stout 3 39.7 2 56
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Tylan Wallace 1 23 0 23
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Roquan Smith 8-6 0 0 0
Patrick Queen 7-5 0 1 0
Marcus Williams 7-2 0 1 0
Kyle Hamilton 5-2 0 2 0
Brandon Stephens 5-1 0 0 0
Justin Madubuike 4-1 0 0 0
Geno Stone 3-2 0 0 0
Kyle Van Noy 3-2 1 0 0
Ronald Darby 3-1 0 0 0
Marlon Humphrey 3-1 0 1 0
Michael Pierce 2-1 0 0 0
Travis Jones 2-0 0 0 0
Brent Urban 2-0 2 0 0
Broderick Washington 1-0 0 0 0
Jadeveon Clowney 1-0 1 0 0

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Brock Purdy 18/32 255 0 4
Sam Darnold 8/14 81 1 1
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Christian McCaffrey 14 103 7.4 1
Sam Darnold 1 9 9 0
Deebo Samuel 2 7 3.5 0
Brock Purdy 1 2 2 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
George Kittle 7 10 126 0
Brandon Aiyuk 6 7 113 0
Deebo Samuel 4 12 47 0
Christian McCaffrey 6 10 28 0
Ronnie Bell 1 1 12 1
Kyle Juszczyk 1 2 5 0
Willie Snead 1 2 5 0
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Jake Moody 1 1 45 2
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Mitch Wishnowsky 2 44.5 1 57
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Ronnie Bell 1 11 0 11
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Tashaun Gipson 7-1 0 0 0
Ji'Ayir Brown 5-2 0 0 0
Deommodore Lenoir 4-3 0 0 0
Charvarius Ward 4-1 0 0 0
Ambry Thomas 4-0 0 0 0
Kevin Givens 3-2 0 0 0
Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles 3-1 0 0 0
Randy Gregory 3-1 0.5 0 0
Javon Hargrave 3-1 1 0 0
Nick Bosa 3-0 0 0 0
Chase Young 2-2 0.5 0 0
Dre Greenlaw 12-10 0 0 0
Fred Warner 10-5 0 0 0
Clelin Ferrell 1-1 0 0 0
Javon Kinlaw 1-1 0 0 0


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