As it has been stated over and over, the game is played on the field, not on paper. When the Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 16-6 last night on national TV in the Thanksgiving Night Football game, they not only won the game on the field, but on paper as well. The final score shouldn't have been as close as it was, as the Ravens were on the 49ers 1-yard line but had to settle for a field goal in the first half.
However, when you look at the final stats, it shows the complete game mentioned in the recap here on Baltimore Beatdown and shows the level of dominance by the Ravens over the course of the game's sixty minutes. Baltimore held San Francisco to a grand total of 170 yards of offense, including less than 100 net passing yards and limited QB Alex Smith to a QB Rating of 61.1.
On the other side, Ravens QB Joe Flacco was an efficient 15 for 23 for 161 yards and a TD, with a QB Rating of 100.1, his second straight game with a QB Rating over 100. His protection was virtually perfect as he was not sacked the entire game. To further prove the Ravens dominance and efficiency, they were a solid 7 for 15 on 3rd down while the 49ers were a pitiful 2 of 12 converting third into first downs.
Going into the game, the 49ers boasted the best turnover ratio in the league (+17), which is a key ingredient to many victories and while the Ravens were 9th in the league at +3. There was only one in the entire game, which was a Lardarius Webb pick in the end zone late in the first half to prevent a possible score and kept Baltimore ahead 6-3 after the first thirty minutes
Another interesting stat is that the Ravens have not lost a game this season that they led at halftime. San Francisco tied up the game on their opening drive of the second half, but the Ravens responded with a 16-play, 76-yard drive that ate up the final 7+ minutes of the third quarter and culminated with a eight-yard Joe Flacco to TE Dennis Pitta TD pass on the first play of the fourth quarter for a 13-6 lead.
Other than the kneel-downs at the end of the game, the Ravens only had three possessions of the entire second half. They had a franchise-tying nine sacks, three by Terrell Suggs, 2.5 by DE Cory Redding and two by DT Haloti Ngata. Constantly put in third-and-long situations, the Ravens defense could pin back their ears and rush the passer which they obviously did with constant success. This had been a problem with the 49ers all season and was exposed by Baltimore time and time again.
The domination on both the field and paper was obvious once that game ended and the final stats was released, showing as complete of a game by Baltimore against a very tough defensive San Francisco team that is sure to make some noise in the post season and while it was a great tag-line all week leading up to the game about this being the first time in NFL history that brothers faced each other as head coaches, perhaps there will be one more chapter in this saga if they can possibly meet again in February.