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Ravens News 12/3: Atop the NFL, defensive notes and more

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San Francisco 49ers v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Don’t Look Now, But Lamar Jackson and the Ravens Are the NFL’s Top Team - Albert Breer

For the first time in a long time, Baltimore swung at an opponent with its overpowering offense and the opponent swung back with similar force. So when the Ravens got the ball back at their own 35 with 6:28 left in this game against the 10–1 Niners, the Baltimore offense had 86 yards from scrimmage and zero points to show for it in the second half. This was really about as close as any team had come to actually “figuring out” the Ravens’ offense. That left the Baltimore offense 65 yards from the end zone, tied at 17.

The last two weeks, in those games against the Texans and Rams, the Ravens have seemed to chase perfection. But as the players see it, there’s a pretty good shot this win will prove to be more valuable in the long run—and mostly because it was far from perfect.

“A tough game, a physical game, against one of the best teams in the league,” Ingram continued. “It makes your team battle-tested. So [there’s] a lot of value, and we will learn from this. … Just a great team victory.”

And one that left the Ravens, on the first of December, officially atop the NFL.

NFL Week 13 takeaways: Ravens good, Raiders bad, Giants ugly - Adam Schein

Super Bowl LIV preview? Yes, please! Ravens nip Niners in classic bout

Lamar Jackson made magic, as per usual, eclipsing 100 yards rushing for the fourth time this year -- a single-season best among quarterbacks during the Super Bowl era. His connection with tight end Mark Andrews -- which produced Baltimore’s first touchdown of the day -- is special. Justin Tucker drilled a 49-yarder at the gun to bust a tie, showing once again that he’s the best kicker in the game. And the defense held San Francisco to just three points after halftime.

Bottom line: It was business as usual for Baltimore, the most well-rounded team in the entire league. The Ravens’ offense, defense, special teams, culture and coaching are uniquely adept. With the Patriots’ loss in Houston on Sunday night -- and with Tom Brady continuing to struggle with the forward pass -- the Ravens now hold the No. 1 seed. And this is appropriate: Right now, Baltimore is the best team in the NFL, much less the Super Bowl favorite in the AFC.

What the 49ers Said After Their Loss to Ravens - Ryan Mink

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

(on their success running the ball on the edges)

“With some of the blitzes, we got them in the right looks. Just like it always is versus their defense. Then, you’ve got some that you run that you lose yards. I thought we had some good ones running away from pressure.”

TE George Kittle

(on how much enjoyment he gets from run blocking)

“You kidding? That’s how I … I grade my game off the run game. I thought I played pretty well today. I had great battles with 99 [Ravens OLB Matthew Judon] all day. He’s a great player. So, that was fun. That was really fun. I’m just looking forward to hopefully getting another opportunity again.”

DL DeForest Buckner

(on the different of Jackson on the field versus on tape)

“There is only so much film you can watch, and you really won’t get a good look. You can try and simulate it in scout team, until you actually hit the field and go against him and see how it goes and you make those adjustments. And each of those guys – defense, offense and special teams – fought to the very end.

“He is a great player, great dynamic player. He can pass outside the pocket and extend plays. It is hard to defend somebody like that all the time.”

NFL Week 13 Team of the Week - PFF

LB L.J. FORT, BALTIMORE RAVENS

Fort was a force against the Niners in Week 13, as the eighth-year linebacker made an impact in almost every facet of play. He produced one QB hurry from three snaps as a blitzer, tallied two defensive stops and a tackle for loss against the run and held his lone target in coverage to just three receiving yards. All in all, it was a good day for Baltimore.

Defensive Notes vs 49ers 12/1/19 - Ken McKusick

Pass Rush

The Ravens tried, primarily with a 5-man rush, to rattle Jimmy Garoppolo. The Ravens allowed him ATS on just 8 of 23 drop backs (35%). While that percentage is good from a defensive perspective, the Ravens generated just 8 plays with a pressure event with 7 cases where Garoppolo unloaded quickly before pressure could develop.

Martindale significantly scaled back elements of deception. The Ravens used just 12 individual blitzes, ran 4 stunts, and twice dropped 2 men to coverage. Only 4 drop packs met my definition of deceptive by pairing multiple deceptive elements on a single play.

Defensive MVPs

1. Chris Wormley

2. Chuck Clark

3. Michael Pierce