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Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports


What Kyle Shanahan, Brock Purdy, other 49ers said after 33-19 loss vs. Ravens

Dec 25, 2023 at 11:45 PM--


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San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, quarterback Brock Purdy, and others spoke with reporters after Monday's 33-19 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. Here is everything they had to say.

Transcripts provided by the San Francisco 49ers Communications staff.

49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan


Opening comments:

"Injuries for the game, [T] Trent Williams had a groin, didn't return. [OL] Jaylon Moore had a concussion, didn't return. [QB] Brock Purdy, stinger, didn't return. [OL] Aaron Banks toe, didn't return. And [CB] Ambry Thomas, hamstring. Go ahead."

What's your message to the team after a game like this?

"I thought we came out hard, ready to go, offense, defense, special teams, getting the safety, moving the ball. But for that first half when you have those three turnovers and you do those things and you miss some opportunities and you're down 16 to 12, you got not much to show for. I thought we blew a bunch of opportunities in that first half. In the second half when, that third quarter was a rough one. When we get another turnover the hundred yards in penalties. When we had that punt and the false start before it, I believe, a personal foul out of bounds. Just twice our defense had it on their side of the 50 and the third and then unraveled after that. So anytime you got five turnovers over a hundred yards in penalties, that's how it should be."

Was there anything generally going on that they were doing or that he was a little off on that you can just kind of describe what happened with those picks?

"I thought the one that he was off on was the first one. Just read the coverage wrong and didn't expect someone to be back there and made a bad decision on the first one. Second one, corner made a hell of a play blitzing and he couldn't get it over him. The guy tipped it and ended up making it to himself. The third one, scrambling. I didn't really see what happened on it. I saw the end result. I don't know what happened on the ball, whether 14 [Kyle Hamilton] made a play, whether they both hit it at the same time. But he broke out of the pocket on a big third down. He had [TE] George [Kittle] and 14 coming back to him and threw it right at them and it just bounced up and got another tip. Then the fourth one in the third quarter, he was making the right decision going to [RB] Christian [McCaffrey] on a check down and someone hit him from the right side and the ball came out sideways and went right to their linebacker. I thought, the first one was the big mistake and the other three were I'm pretty unfortunate for him."

He hasn't had a game like this really. But what did you see in his demeanor just as this was going on? What did you see from him?

"I didn't mind his demeanor. He stayed in there, kept battling. Our kind whole team struggled there in the second half, so it just wasn't him. I know he was disappointed not being able to finish it there, but getting that stinger again, it was I just wanted to keep him out of there. I'm ready for him to bounce back next week."

Could he have gone back in if needed?

"Possibly. I didn't even ask. I know he had a bad stinger and we had three O-Linemen out at the time. I don't want him to go in and not be ready for next week."

What are you concerned about beyond this week?

"Nothing I'm concerned about, but you know how stingers are and it could be worse tomorrow, but I think it'll be alright."

Ambry Thomas hamstring injury related to CB Jason Verrett going in in the third quarter?

"No, we wanted to get Verrett going a little bit just to mix him in there, get his feet wet. It's been a while since he's played, so he's been doing some good things in practice, so we wanted to give him an op out there, just a little bit. Then I think we mixed in some more as Ambry had that, but also went with [CB] Darrell Luter [Jr.] a bunch too."

He's mostly played outside in his career. It seemed like a somewhat of a big ask hadn't played since 2021 playing the slot. Did you guys consider is this maybe too much in a game like this to put him out there?

"I mean that's what he is been playing here these last two weeks. That's what he's played for the four weeks he was in Houston. That's what he wants to play and that's what we think he looks the best at and where he can help us the most. I think all the NFL games are big regardless of which one, especially this time of year. We felt he was the best guy for us with how practice has been going and for our roster right now."

Do you have any early sense on Trent's groin injury?

"I don't. He tried to go back in. The trainer didn't think it was a good idea, so we'll get the MRI tomorrow and see how it goes."

You mentioned that third quarter. We just haven't seen this team kind of get knocked around for a full quarter. Do you think they got demoralized a little bit? What was kind of the feeling as that was happening?

"I don't think we did anything on offense. We turned it over. Then we had the punt, which basically was a turnover because of their return and then the personal foul. That's a good offense too. There's some guys that are hard to tackle, they are going to do that. I thought our defense came out ready to go and we're doing a decent job and they only can do it for so long. I thought the way we were struggling on offense in the third quarter, led to some missed tackles. I think we gave five first downs on penalties today. So all that happens. So no, I'm not going to sit and say they're demoralized or anything. We weren't very balanced throughout our whole team today and I thought they came out ready to go, but when you turn the ball over, it doesn't really matter. Then the way that third quarter went, that was some bad football and by the time the fourth started, it was out of hand."

The play calling in the first quarter was very aggressive, 10 passes, five runs and a lot of throws down the field. Was that your plan coming into the first quarter to attack with the pass like that?

"No, it was to be balanced. It was just how it came out. We finished with a pick and stuff, so we didn't make a conscious decision we're going to come out throwing. It was some of the looks we had and felt we were moving the ball pretty good doing it."

Brock's been so good almost every single week. Can you almost say, 'Hey, he was due for something like this and let's see what happens next.' Can you put it in context like that?

"I just think the fact he's played this long and never had a game like this is pretty unusual. I think that's the reality of the NFL. I'm not saying it's bound to happen, but I wish he didn't have as many picks today. But like I said, I think one of them was one he'd really liked to have back. The other three I think were unfortunate. We played a good team, didn't play our best football today, and that's what happens. We lost a game that we really wanted to win. We knew this was a big one. Our guys are real disappointed tonight. They should be. But when it comes down to it we're still in the same situation that we were before the game started and we got to take care of our business and that's why it's alright to be upset tonight. We put a lot into that and think it out of it what we expected to. We got to make sure we're ready for Washington when they come back on Wednesday. Coaches will be in there tomorrow, but a short week we'll keep them away and make sure we got a game plan ready for them on Wednesday."

Did the offense feel like it was back in sync on the McCaffrey's touchdown drive where you got a lot of the yards and finished it off with the touchdown? Did you feel like it was back or that was things were still discombobulated?

"No, we didn't feel like it went away. It's hard if you don't score points when you turn it over. We turned it over three times in the first half and I think we had nine yards a play at halftime. I thought we got a number of explosives and we had 13 points to show for, or 12. It was 12, right, with the safety. So we got 10 on offense and I just thought we were doing some good things. In order to score, you got can't give it back to them, you got to finish. Whether you're kicking a field goal or crossing the goal line and when we were moving the ball, it doesn't matter how you move the ball if you don't score and that's what we didn't do today."

It seemed like guys had a pretty specific game plan to keep Baltimore Ravens Lamar Jackson in the pocket. How do you feel like you defended him today? Do you think the defense played well enough to win at all things considered like ignoring the penalty?

"No, no one played well enough to win. I think if everyone looks at the score and see how that went, I was encouraged with the number of things. I loved how they came out. But the penalties, the number of first downs. There were times I thought we did a real good job containing Lamar, but just as a team we gave him too many opportunities. When they get too many opportunities, you're going to end up having this, and he did. He made some plays, we missed some tackles, which he's going to do to everybody when they give him space. But we had our moments, but those moments you got to capitalize on them in all three phases and we didn't."

Going into the bye week you said that you got that your team, your defense looked tired. Is that at all a concern as the year's ending that fatigue might be an issue to end the season?

"I think that is for everybody. No difference than anyone, but I mean we're same as everyone else in the NFL right now."

How do you expect Brock to bounce back from a game like this?

"Oh, Brock, he'll bounce back. He'll be in there tomorrow looking at the film. He'll come to Wednesday ready to go. Hopefully his stinger clears up, which I expect it to. Our whole team will bounce back."

What did you think of QB Sam Darnold?

"I thought he came in and did a good job. Real good job, led us to a touchdown there. Wish we would've scored again there at the end. He was in a tough situation there with some of the two-minute stuff. Some of the guys who were, just in-and-out with some of the receivers, the O-Line, just some of the injuries and substitutions we had. But he had good command and I didn't see what happened at the end. I was looking down the field. I don't know what happened on the sack, so I'll review that. But I was happy with Sam."

Was Banks a re-aggravation of his turf toe?

"They said it was his toe and it was the same foot, so I'm assuming so."

If Trent or Jaylon can't play next week, is OL Spencer Burford the next option there?

"Yes."

49ers QB Brock Purdy


What was the most difficult part about going up against that defense?

"They were sound in what they did. I feel like they did a good job all around, starting with their front, the guys in their secondary. They did a good job just all around. And so, they're a good team in general. When they had the momentum, they kept it rolling. Felt like there was just like some tight windows and stuff, not a lot of room for error in terms of my decision making. But overall, they did a good job. They came ready to play."

Was the first one the one you wanted back the most?

"Yeah, I mean, that starts it off. Obviously we were rolling, we had the momentum, had some really big plays on that drive. And then I throw the ball like that to end the momentum that we had. So, for me, yeah, that definitely hurt. Wish I had it back. I wish I would've progressed and just checked it down and kept the drive alive. So, definitely have to learn from it."

What did you not see on that play?

"I saw [WR] Deebo [Samuel] flash a little bit. And in that play, if we had quarters with two-high safety, Deebo wasn't necessarily a thought. I'm supposed to progress. And so, I thought I saw some space early on and I threw it late, and then the safety made a play and picked it off. So clear as day on me, I've got to progress."

On the third interception on the one you tried to get the TE George Kittle, were you aware of the flags that were on the field at that point or are you just still trying to make a play?

"I saw some flags thrown as I was scrambling. Not exactly sure of what or who it was on. And so, my mind was trying to make a play. And honestly, I can't make a bad play worse. I have to know that. That's on us in terms of the flag just by some body languages of our O-Line and things like that. I did see that. So, for me to throw across my body back in the middle of the field with a guy on George, that's very dumb of me. So, I've got to throw the ball away and live to fight another play and punt and be willing to punt. So, that's something I have to learn from the hard way."

What do you do to shake this off?

"I mean, it's the NFL. We have some opportunities coming up and we've still got two games left in the regular season before we get into the playoffs. And so for me, trying to look at the big picture of what we're trying to do, what our team goals are. But at the same time, I have to look myself in the mirror and ask myself why or how that happened and why I made those decisions. And so, our team came ready to play and for me to make some decisions like that it pains me and it's not fair to these guys. So, I have to realize that and understand that, and I have to get better for my team."

Does the stinger seem similar to what you experienced in Arizona and how concerning is that?

"I mean, I played the whole game fine, not thinking about it or anything. It wasn't even a thing. And just the way I got tackled on that play, it sort of just lit up again just like last week. So I had to go through the whole protocol process in the tent again and everything like that. That's just sort of just how it went down."

When you talked to head coach Kyle Shanahan, did you say 'I can come back in' or what was that discussion?

"I mean, we had talked about just the scenario of the game, where we were at, just got a stinger and my arm was coming back, feeling normal and whatnot. And so, he was just like, where we're at in the game, [QB] Sam [Darnold] had gone in and scored and he goes, for right now we're just going to go with Sam just by how things are going. And we didn't want anything else popping up with the stinger and all that kind of stuff, but it was just where we were at situationally. So, Sam was doing good and we rolled with him."

You've been so good for so many weeks. When this happens, as it's happening, does it feel different? I mean, you've been so even keeled while it's been so high. What is the mindset as things are kind of tumbling away?

"For me, it's like I have to ask myself, all right, who are you? What do you stand for? Who are you when things are good? Who are you when things don't go your way? It's easy to be riding the high and thinking you're the man when things are going well, winning games and all that kind of stuff, and you don't really see a whole lot of adversity in some games. This is the reality of the NFL. And so, for myself, I obviously have to look myself in the mirror, watch the plays where I need to get better, make some cleaner decisions, help my team put up points and score and protect the ball. And when things don't go my way, it's understanding I can't be acting out. I have to be real with myself and be better. I want to be the same guy every day, be consistent in what I do and how I do things, whether things are going well or not. I know who I am and I'm not going to waver in that. So, I've said that before and I'll continue to hang my hat on that."

Just to be clear, on the stinger, did it dissipate pretty quickly like it did last week or are you still feeling it right now?

"Oh yeah, it did. Eventually over time it had gone away and at first it was just on fire. But over time, just like last week, came back.

No concern this week, correct?

"Yeah."

You mentioned learning how to be able to take a punt. Is that a challenge for you to be able to say, okay, be more conservative and allow the offense to punt in the situation?

"Yeah. I think it's easier to do so when you don't have that many turnovers going on, or the game is a close game, but when things are in my mind of, all right, you've messed up a couple times. I have to find a way to make a play, that's where I think I have to grow and be willing. Like I said, a bad play happens, throw the ball away, punt the ball, the game's still manageable to come back. Those are things I have to get better at and understand."

49ers WR Brandon Aiyuk


Of your losses, three of them have been against AFC North teams. What is it about the AFC North that has been your Achilles heel this year?

"I'm not sure about those teams. I didn't even know that until you said that, so I'm not sure."

Is there anything that the Ravens were doing defensively that was throwing you guys off?

"They had a good plan, I think they did a good job. I have to watch it, I'm not sure. [During the game] I'm running around, so you can't really tell. So, I'd have to see."

Given everything that San Francisco 49ers QB Brock Purdy has done for this team, your confidence in him isn't shaken by anything tonight, right?

"No, I think he'll be good. This is his first time really getting the other side of it. So, I'm excited to see how he'll bounce back. I think we'll be good."

49ers DL Nick Bosa


Was there anything Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson was doing in particular that was working? You seemed like you were getting very close but not quite there.

"I think he adjusted how he played throughout the year on tape. He was sitting in the pocket and read well in the pocket tonight. I think he was looking for that escape lane quicker, and then finding the guys downfield. The way he could change the way he played was super impressive. That's something we just have to do better on - containing him, similar to how we have this season with other mobile guys and keeping them in there so he can't find those guys outside the pocket."

Is there a silver lining that comes from a loss like this to regroup?

"Yeah, it's a long season and it's the NFL. You're going to have games like this. You're going to play really good teams and it's just about learning from each experience and moving on. I think we have the team, the quarterback, and the leadership to take this game and learn from it. Obviously we wanted to capitalize on a great opportunity tonight but it's the NFL."

You have never seen 49ers QB Brock go through a night like this. What do you think was happening?

"I think it's unbelievable how he's played for the past two years. Just being a young rookie last year, it seems like he's immortal out there. But no one is immortal. He's responded from not his best performance before and I think he will do that again."

49ers QB Sam Darnold


What was this game like for the offense and the problems that the Ravens posed for you and Brock Purdy before that?

"Obviously [they had a] really good defense, and a really good scheme. They have a really good offense as well. I think we just have to look ourselves in the mirror and figure out what we can do better."

The intermediate game over the middle is usually a bread and butter for you guys. It's got those two good linebackers. Does that affect things? Was that not as much an option in this game?

"Yes. They're backers and like I said, their entire defense did a really good job. There's always ways that we can find a way to move the ball that way."

You guys are always talking on the sideline every time you come off the field. Did you see any difference in 49ers QB Brock Purdy at all? Did he seemed frustrated or was he just the same guy that we always see?

"No. Brock's always very poised, very mature and he always has that next play, next drive mentality."

How did it feel with your first extended action in this game after a while? It's been a while, so how did it feel out there? The operation of it?

"Yes, the operation felt great. Obviously would've liked to get that last drive in the end zone. It is tough to take a sack there on that third down and leave you with a tough fourth down to try getting a touchdown. I thought I could have done some things better, but overall the operation was pretty good."

49ers TE George Kittle


How do you feel after this game?

"It was kind of crazy. I felt really bad during the game, a lot of turnovers and putting our defense in horrible situations constantly. They still did a good job. We held them with a couple field goals and then at the very end we score a touchdown, [49ers WR] Ronnie [Bell] scores and they were going down again. It's like, 'hey, there's four minutes left, anything can happen.' So proud of the way the team fought at the end. Proud of [49ers QB] Sam [Darnold] coming in and throwing some darts. Overall, we got our tails kicked in on Christmas Day, national television, so it's not really fun, but it's one game. We have an opportunity on a short week to go get another win. Then it's just, 'hey, got to win the next one too.' So it's on us disappointing, but it's not like the building's on fire. Sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way. A lot of tips. A lot of crazy stuff happened, so not incredibly angry right now, just disappointed. I still think we have a pretty good football team."

What was it like seeing QB Brock Purdy struggle tonight and how did you think he handled it all?

"I think Brock's fantastic still. His mindset, handling it like that, stuff happens. They make plays and they're very good. They're the one seed in the AFC for a reason. They're guys get paid to make plays too and they had our number tonight. I just kept telling him, 'Brock, keep slinging it man.' We're a one seed in the NFC for a reason because you sling the ball and get it to our playmakers in space. They had a great game plan against us tonight. Those turnovers are huge. I don't know what else to say besides the last turnover is what it is at the end of the game. When you have three turnovers in the first half, it's tough and you know that they're not all on Brock. But it's just hard to win that way."

Was there anything that their defense was doing differently that you haven't seen?

"Looking at it, they did a really good job. On the first couple series they came out and had different defensive fronts the whole time. You're trying to go against nickel but you're going against base five with four down. You're trying to call the right play to go against those things and I think we're doing a pretty good job with that. That's difficult and I don't know if that hurt our rhythm or routes at all like that. I'm going to give them credit. They won the game forcing five turnovers. At the end of we weren't allowed to really run our entire offense because we had so many turnovers, especially there in the third quarter. They obviously did a great job of taking away our middle stuff."

49ers DB Deommodore Lenoir


How do you regroup after a loss like this?

"We just get back to the drawing board, fix the small things we messed up today and keep fighting."

What is about Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson and this team's defense that makes it difficult?

"He could use his legs and he is one of the most talented QB's in the league. I have to give him his props today, he was a great player."

Is a loss like this after a big winning streak a silver lining, almost like a gut punch and a reminder?

"It is humbling. Everybody wants to win but they came out and played hard tonight."

49ers RB Christian McCaffrey


There was a lot of pressure in QB Brock Purdy's face today. How did he handle it in the huddle?

"He was fine. He didn't blink. I think turnovers are a team thing too. We have to help him out and do a better job. We got beat today and I know we have the right guys to get back at it."

WR Brandon Aiyuk said they had a good plan for you. What did they do to slow you guys down?

"I think we just can't beat ourselves. At the end of the day, we just have to stay on the field and can't put the defense in tough situations."

49ers LB Fred Warner


Put this game into perspective.

"I mean, I have mixed emotions about it, honestly. We know the recipe for winning football games for our team. We have to take the ball away on defense. We didn't take the ball away. We have to protect the ball on offense. We gave it away. When you do that, that's how you lose games. Even through all of that, had we scored on that last drive, we would've been within one score and had a chance. But at that point, you're grasping to try to find a way back into the game but we didn't execute. They were the better team."

At the half, you're only down four. Are you happy about that, at that moment, or are you regretting it thinking we had opportunities to really get a big lead here?

"Both. I think obviously we have to have a better way of starting the game in the first half as a team. Then in the second half, even if they do get the ball on defense, we can't let them score touchdowns. We have to find a way to either get the ball back or settle for three. And we didn't do that in the second half. We just didn't play well enough to win the game."

In the big picture, you guys came in here controlling your own destiny. You still do. So what's the mindset of the team, on a short week, getting ready to go to D.C.?

"The mindset is that you can't let one turn into two. You have to wipe this one and, of course, learn from it. You have to watch the tape hard and be honest with yourself. Then you have to get back to work. Get right back to work. We can't let this affect our confidence as a team. We know who we are. We have to come back on a short week, and go on the road in a big game and find a way to win one game."

Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh


Opening Statement:

"It's good to see everybody here. We appreciate it. [It's] late and worth it. Merry Christmas. The Lord is with us, Emmanuel. I'll tell you, our guys played a worthy type of a game for a game like that against an opponent like that. That's a very good football team. It's a football team that's going far this year. [They're] very physical [and are a] very tough team. If you look at the game we played, it was pretty much a complete game by all three phases. [We're] playing complementary football together and playing off of each other – special teams had their best game of the year. [They] made numerous plays in short and field position and put us in position, and we covered well against a very good return team, especially kickoff return team. Offense obviously moved the ball [and] scored points [in] numerous plays to close out us out at the end. Then [our] defense just had a spectacular game against one of the best offenses there is. Five turnovers; five interceptions; pressure on the quarterback pretty much all day and plastering the scrambles. I thought our guys really worked hard in coverage all day. So, a lot of things beyond that, but that's the highlights. [I'm just] very proud of our guys. What questions do you have?"

Did you guys feel disrespected by not being considered a favorite and having so many people pick against you guys coming into this game?

"I think our guys work hard. Our guys work hard, and they compete hard, and everybody wants to be respected. But there's one way to be respected and that's to go out there and earn that. As an athlete and as a football player especially, it needs to be done on the field in the game. I'm proud of our guys for the way they did that tonight."

Five turnovers, that's a special defensive night. Can you put a reason behind that level of productivity which is remarkable?

"Defensively, it was all three levels. We had pressure. We had the run game under control, [and] that helped us a lot. But we had pressure. I think our coverage was just fantastic and we covered long, so we made them hold the ball, forcing them into some bad throws, and we had our hands on balls. We tipped balls; we had balls in the air, and guys caught them and that helps, too. It was just a complete team effort on defense to get those interceptions."

What did you make of QB Lamar Jackson's performance tonight?

"I thought Lamar [Jackson] had an MVP performance tonight. It takes a team to create a performance like that, but it takes a player to play at that level – to play at an MVP level – it takes a player to play that way. And Lamar was all over the field doing everything. He operated a pretty complicated gameplan. I thought [offensive coordinator] Todd [Monken] and the coaches deserve a lot of credit for the gameplan. Lamar operated, he made decisions on the field, and then just kept plays alive [and] trusted his offensive line – the offensive line was outstanding with the protection. Lamar trusted those guys, he kept plays alive, he moved in the pocket, [and] he created space for the overage guys. Our guys did a great job of scramble drills of getting open. We had a number of plays that were extended. They were big plays for us. So, [it was] just a complete game by Lamar."

Is there any update on S Kyle Hamilton?

"It doesn't look bad for anybody [that was injured in the game]. We will see tomorrow to ensure that. We're fairly optimistic about everybody."

To your point about QB Lamar Jackson, the long run at the end of the first half and then the touchdown to WR Nelson Agholor. There were two plays on that very short drive, but where Lamar extended plays, how much have you seen the development of these guys on offense to be able to make those plays happen together and be in sync?

"I agree. Those [plays] don't just happen. Those happen because a lot of hard work gets put into it on top of a lot of amazing talent. It's a group effort. You have the offensive line doing their thing and then tight ends, [wide] receivers, and [running] backs, both in protection and in routes. They're forced to cover guys downfield, and Lamar [Jackson] is able to run. [If] they don't cover guys downfield, Lamar finds them. [Lamar] has great vision, and our guys are finding soft spots in the coverage there and getting open, and he hits them. Nobody throws better than Lamar on the move, from awkward platforms, he's very accurate that way. So, all those things I would say came into play."

You talk about this team's ability just to focus on the goals and how important that's going to be after a game like this for what's coming up next week against Miami? You have to really accomplish some regular season goals.

"Well, it is. We haven't finished. We're not finished, and that's just the regular season [that] we're not finished with yet. We have a massive game coming up in six days on a short week against a great football team. It's going to be a big challenge, and they're already getting ready for us. So, we have to get back [to Baltimore], and we have to get to work."

What do you make of this team's ability to really play their best game against some of the division leaders that you guys have gone against. I can't even tell you how many people were picking the 49ers, but to handle the Jaguars the way you guys did, the Lions, on and on and on. It just seems to happen.

"It's a major statement about who they are and about how they compete and what they're all about. Absolutely."

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson


Why do you play so well against NFC teams?

"I don't even look at it based off the divisions or anything like that. I don't know. I really don't know. We just study a lot of film [and are] just playing stuff back. Then, after watching film, I picture myself out there on the field versus the defense. God [is] on our side. Our defense [is] playing lights out. [The] offensive line is blocking their tails off. Running backs [are] doing what they do. Receivers [are] doing what they do. Tight ends [are] doing what they do. [It's] all phases – special teams as well. Tylan [Wallace] had a great run [on the punt return]. I don't know why we play [well] and [why] our record is good against the NFC. I just pray it keeps being that way."

How much does it mean to beat the San Francisco 49ers amidst the 49ers being favored to win the game?

"I really don't care about the favorites. That's a great team, though. We don't take anything away from them on [their] defense, offense or special teams, as well. I pretty much like it that way – just being the underdogs. I don't want people looking at us like, 'We need them to go in and do this and that.' I like playing as the underdog, and I feel like we have more success being that way."

What did you think about your performance?

"We got the 'dub.' I really don't care about [my] performance. I just want to win, and that's what happened tonight. On Christmas, that was my gift. They asked me in an interview a couple weeks ago, 'What would I want for Christmas?' My wish got granted. We just need to keep going, keep staying locked in and keep staying focused, because we know what it was in 2019 when we were playing against [teams] like this [and] winning regular season games. When the time came, we didn't finish the season. We're just going to keep taking it a day at a time, a practice at a time and a game at a time. That's all I'm focused on right now."

What goes through his mind when you extend plays and gets away from defenders?

"Make something happen, just keep the ball in our favor [and] protect the ball. That's pretty much what we did. 'Nelly' [Nelson Agholor] did a great move. It was man coverage, and he made a wonderful play. He caught the ball. He scored. The [offensive] line gave me pretty much great time. That's all it was."

What was the margin of victory against great teams says about this Ravens team?

"I believe we play better under pressure. We keep our poise. We stay locked in no matter how the game may seem, no matter what the crowd noise is [and] no matter how hard the defense is hitting us, because the [San Francisco 49ers'] defense was flying around. I have to give credit where credit is due, but we just stay locked in. I don't think anybody plays like us. We just need to keep playing that way [and] keep playing the Raven way."

How big was it for the defense to come up with four turnovers in the first half?

"It was very huge for us. Our defense, like you said, got those turnovers. It was up to us to put points on the board. We can't have those turnovers and give the ball right back to them with no answer. We need points as much as we could [against] that high-tempo [San Francisco 49ers] offense [and] fast offense. Hats off to our defense."

On his post-game comments about Mike Florio's comments as he walked into the tunnel after the game:

"We're in the NFL. We play ball. Not to take away from that team, but you can't just discredit us. We're grown men. We have to feed our families. [Mike Florio] can have his opinion, but don't just talk like that. That's disrespectful. That's very disrespectful. Not to take away from the 49ers at all, because they're great all across the board, but we're going to come to play as well. Our record [isn't a] fluke. We play ball, and we showed that. He just needs to keep doing his job, but just don't come off like that towards us. That's disrespectful, like I said, because he isn't putting the pads on. If he was putting the pads on, I feel like it would've been different for him. He wouldn't say that. He'd be respectful. I say that to say this; we're respectful to our opponents. Our opponents are respectful to us, but a guy who's not even playing against us [and] just coming out and being disrespectful, I guess he wanted more views on his little channel. We're going to leave it at that."

What happened on the play where you tripped over the umpire in the end zone which caused a safety?

"The ref fell. He fell, but he came back and apologized. He was like, 'My bad,' but it's all good. Those two points helped [the San Francisco 49ers] out a lot. I knew I was going to get away. I know Chase [Young] knows I was going to get away, too. Hats off to Chase. He did what he was supposed to do."

Have you ever tripped over a referee during a play before?

"I think a ref fell in front of me before, but I got away. So, when this happened, oh man!" (laughter) "It is what it is. We live to fight another day, and we did. I just didn't turn it over and give them [a] touchdown. I'd rather [give up] those two points and [let] our defense just hold their own like they did for us. We just got the ball back and just put points on the board."

Ravens DE/OLB Jadeveon Clowney


How were the Ravens successful defending 49ers QB Brock Purdy?

"It was our rush and coverage working together. [We were] in disguise. [Defensive coordinator] Mike Macdonald put us in good situations to go out there and make plays, and we executed today. We went out there and did our job."

What are your thoughts on coming into the game as the underdog?

"That was funny. That was funny to me. We were the underdogs knowing what we've been through, 11-3. It felt good to be the underdogs for the first time in a long time. I think that put a little chip on our shoulders. We were coming in here to do our job and play hard and physical and play together, and we did that today."

Should QB Lamar Jackson be the MVP?

"[Lamar Jackson]'s the MVP to me. I think he should be. Nobody else is doing it like he's doing it right now. I'm just happy to be on his team. Watching him go out there and perform week in and week out, it's great. I don't have to chase him. I get a lot of rest on the bench. I like watching him go out there and do his thing."

How can the Ravens take care of business against Miami next week to secure the No. 1 playoff spot?

"The same way that we got it done this week – go to work, practice well, be together, be as one and execute the gameplan that [defensive coordinator] Mike [Macdonald] puts together. He usually puts together a pretty good gameplan, and it's been working out lately for us, so I'm looking forward to it."

Why is this year's team so special?

"I think it's the way we gel together. [There are] a bunch of guys in here – I just got here this year, and I feel like I've been here for a while. We're just cool with each other. We all go out to eat together, [and] we do a lot of stuff together as one when we're on the road. It's just a fun environment to be around. We're excited to go to work every day. It's not stressful to walk in the building and [not] worry about other things going on. It's just football and having a good time with the guys you love and have a good time with."

Ravens WR Zay Flowers


How do you feel with where the team is at now?

"I don't even know. We just wanted to get the win. [We're] going to the next game [and will] get ready for the [Miami] Dolphins."

How can you beat the Miami Dolphins and secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC?

"Playing our football, physical, execute, and get it done, [like] how we did it tonight."

What is it like playing with and watching QB Lamar Jackson?

"[Lamar Jackson] makes your job easy, especially if you just run around and get open, because you know he's going to run around. He's going to create second plays, probably third plays. He's going to break a couple of tackles. He makes your job easy."

Why do you think QB Lamar Jackson should be the MVP?

"[Lamar Jackson] can do everything. You [saw] it tonight. He ran it; he threw it; he led the team. That's the MVP. You lead your team, you have the best record in the NFL, and he just comes out and continues to come out and do what he [does] game in and game out even though people [say], 'He can't do this. He can't do that,' and he comes out and proves them wrong every time."

What did you see from the defense?

"I see the best defense in the NFL. That's all I see. I've [known] it from the jump, but I guess a lot of people [didn't] know it. We just had to go show it."

What does it mean to be without family on Christmas but leave with a win?

"I always dreamed about playing on Christmas and playing on the biggest days, and I was able to do it tonight. [We] came out with the win. I know my family over there is celebrating, so [I'm] blessed."

Have you ever had a better Christmas?

"I used to have good Christmases when I was young. We used to get bikes. Me and my brothers would ride around the whole neighborhood, so I'd put this [one] up there. It's like Top 2."

Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey


What does the five turnovers say about the defense?

"It was a total team effort. You have rush and coverage working together, guys getting back there to the quarterback and the gameplan we had coming in. So, it was big a turnover night, so [it's] just a testament to everybody working together."

Did the team hear the noise about them losing? Did you come into the game feeling a certain type of way?

"The interviewer guy, whatever he does, that was [mentioned] in our team meeting, so it was impossible to not hear that one for us. I just felt, it seems like ... This is the NFL. Anybody can beat anybody, so for there to be so much favoritism towards the 49ers, it was a little surprising. Like I said earlier, I'm OK with being the underdog, but 5.5 is kind of a lot. I would have been OK with 2.5 [or] 3, but we did take that a little personal, so we tried to even the score."

What did you see from 49ers QB Brock Purdy's unusual play?

"We tried. [Brock Purdy] makes all the right reads. It was really kind of hard to kind of flesh him [out]. We felt if we could get the lead, then maybe that would be our best chance. We were able to get the lead and kind of attempt to flesh him, but it's hard to stop that guy. He kind of makes all the right reads. Even though he made mistakes tonight, he usually doesn't make too many mistakes."

Why was the team able to be in the right spots when it came to the five turnovers?

"[We were] really just flying to the ball. The one of Kyle [Hamilton]'s [interceptions], he went to go rush the quarterback and then got a pick – so stuff like that, just running to the ball. 'B-Steve' [Brandon Stephens] tipped it up. A lot of things kind of bounced our way tonight, but it was a full team effort, just running to the ball, hustling, trying to take fire to fire. That team ... I think everybody's a little sore. There are a lot of teams that want to be physical. That team is a real-deal, physical team [and] a really good team, so for us come out and kind of put on a show was really good for us."

What is the team's mindset going into Sunday's game against the Dolphins?

"Like Kyle Van Noy said, 'Enjoy this one, but when we land, we have a short week.' We really want to beat the Dolphins and get that No. 1 seed, so we'll enjoy this one on the plane, and then when we touch down, it will kind of be go time to get ready for the Dolphins."

What is it like beating another NFL division leader by double digits?

"I don't know. Honestly, I don't know. The biggest thing is we try to get ahead and kind of go from there. It seems like balls kind of bounced our way, and we just have to keep playing fundamental football. That's the biggest thing. If we can be fundamentally sound, I think we have a pretty good chance against anybody."

Was the MVP race decided in this game?

"I know there are two MVP candidates and possibly three with [Christian] McCaffrey, I think. McCaffrey did have a good game. [He's a] really good player, but [with] the score and our guy, it might be Lamar [Jackson]. So, that's our pitch for that."

Why aren't people talking about this team?

"I think that just comes from ... Lamar [Jackson] has a lot of haters, so it really doesn't help us too much. They always wait for Lamar to fail. We're not mad at it. I think that's the biggest thing. I feel like [he's] one of the best quarterbacks in the league, but also one of the most doubted. A lot of stuff comes from the doubts and the hate that he receives, and we don't mind it, so it's all good."

Ravens ILB Patrick Queen


Was there something that lit the fuse for this team coming into this game?

"Yes. Everybody was writing us off before we even had a chance to play. We knew what we were capable of, and everybody counted us out. [They] didn't expect us to even hold up. Everybody was saying we were going to get blown out by double digits or whatever, so we just had to come out and play our style of ball. We all understood the assignment. We all understood what Coach [head coach John Harbaugh] wanted from us, and we just went out there and capitalized."

What was your message to the team in the pre-game huddle?

"[My message was] that we've worked too hard for people to be writing us off already. We were 11-3 just like they were 11-3. We kind of feel a certain way about stuff like that when somebody writes you off before you even get a chance to even play the game. My message was just [to] go out there and take what we want."

Did you feel like the pressure was forcing 49ers QB Brock Purdy to do things he didn't want to do?

"Yes. The rush and coverage work together, and we all understood that. We just understood that we had to stop the run, and we'd be able to make plays. We capitalized on the plays that we were capable of making, and we just took off from there. We saw a few times where the rush wasn't working with the coverage. They had a few plays here and there – [or] whatever – [where] we didn't tackle, or we just missed the assignment on the coverage. When we see players working together like that, like my interception or Kyle [Hamilton]'s interception, everybody's plays that they made, it was just both of our front line and back lines working together."

Did you think they have defeated good teams by such wide margins?

"We play a brand of football that people don't want to play. Everybody wants to be out here [being] cute, playing basketball on grass and stuff, and we [are not] with all that. You can do all that stuff; we're just going to hit you in the mouth every play, honestly. We couldn't care less about all the pretty stuff you do, gimmick stuff. You still have to line up and play football. You still have to get touched, so that's our mindset. That's how we want to come out and just hit people in the mouth."

Would you say the 49ers play basketball on grass?

"They definitely do, but they have an aggressive mindset to them. I can honestly say they are probably the most aggressive team that we [have] played so far."

Why the defense was so successful against 49ers QB Brock Purdy?

"Like I said, [our] rush and coverages [were] working together. We understood that there would be opportunities to make on the ball. We had a good understanding of what they do on offense, and we just knew if we could stop the run that we could get our hands on the ball. I like to say, 'Stop the run; have fun,' so that's definitely what we did."

Baltimore Ravens ILB Roquan Smith

On coming away with a win on Christmas despite being underdogs:

"At the end of the day, there are a lot of he [said] she [said] people in this world. There're not many people that stand 10 toes down on what they believe in and who they are as individuals. This team – we're exactly that. We don't care what others think about us. At the end of the day, we have the utmost faith in every single person in this locker room to go out there and get the job done week in and week out."

On what gives him that belief in the team:

"I think that's just our team and the way we're built from top to bottom starting with 'EDC' [executive vice president and general manager Eric DeCosta] all the way down to 'Harbs' [head coach John Harbaugh] and how we grind week in and week out. Every single day, we put the work in, and we know if we do everything the right way to the best of our ability, it's going to be hard to beat us."

On how the defense was able to force San Francisco 49ers QB Brock Purdy into throwing four interceptions:

"I think that's just getting back to what we do – rushing the coverage. I think it was just guys stepping up at the end of the day. We have the utmost respect and the utmost trust in every single person on this defense. The way [defensive coordinator] Mike [MacDonald] called the game is second to none in this league. I just love playing in this defense. It's very hard to do what you need to do for four quarters on this defense."

On QB Lamar Jackson:

"I think if anybody watched the game [or] if anybody watches football this season and watched the Baltimore Ravens, they know for a fact [that] Lamar Jackson is the MVP, hands down." (Reporter: Why?) "Anyone that watches football and knows football and [can] see the type of impact he has on the game – not even stat-wise, but just individually, the plays that he makes quarter in and quarter out, play in and play out – compare his film to anyone else in the league. Then, I would love to hear what anyone else has to say after that."

On how the team carries this momentum into the game against the Miami Dolphins, where the Ravens have a chance to clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs:

"Enjoy this win tonight [on] a long plane ride back to Baltimore, and then flush it. Tomorrow, we're going to move on to Miami, because hey, they're a really good team. [There are] a lot of weapons on that team. They're coming to town, but we wouldn't like it any other way. We prefer the rough, rigid road. We're those type of guys."



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