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49ers vs. Ravens: Who wins, and why?

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Let’s predict today’s game.

Green Bay Packers v San Francisco 49er Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

It’s been a while since we had an early game. Hopefully, San Francisco has adjusted to the time, as well. Today’s a big one. Here are our staff predictions.

KP

The weather could be beneficial to both teams, as poor footing could allow a ball carrier an advantage he typically wouldn’t have. If the 49ers can keep the Ravens running game inside the tackles, and their passing game outside the numbers, they’ll be fine. That’s much easier said than done. For the first time all year, I don’t have a good grasp on this game. Everything Baltimore does well in the passing game; the Niners have shut down all season. The question becomes, can the road team get stops?

Kyle Shanahan eats defenses alive that cannot stop the run. Since Week 7, the Ravens are 31st in rushing success rate. That means it’ll come down to Jimmy G making plays along with the 49ers wideouts. I’ve dug into this one, and I’m still not sure what happens, but I’ll say Lamar makes more plays than Jimmy. 23-20 Ravens.

El Pato

Like Kyle, I don’t know really what to say on this one. Predicting the 49ers to win out is something I am trying to avoid just because I know there are going to drop a loss somewhere, and I try to stay level-headed with my homerism. Is this it? I don’t know. The elements are going to be at play in this one and the 49ers have shown they can play anywhere. They also have shown they can’t stop running quarterbacks.

Can the defense shut down Lamar Jackson? History says no. I do not think Greg Roman’s offense will last in the NFL very long, but it will take time for teams to figure it out. Again. Unfortunately, that will be a year from now. I’m rooting for the 49ers and my blood pressure isn’t going to like this game all due to how close it will be. But worse than my blood pressure is going to be you guys, because I know right now everyone thinks I’m rooting against the Niners when I say this: 21-17, Ravens. Believe me, I really hope I’m wrong.

Jeff Medina (@JeffMedina49)

This game is entirely dependent on whether or not the 49er’s defense can slow down Lamar Jackson, and I think that they can. But they won’t stop him completely. Jimmy G and company are going to have to put some points on the board and limit the turnovers, which they should be able to do with a heavy dose of Kittle, Deebo, and Sanders.

The forecast is currently calling for a 100% chance of rain with temps in the high 40s, which could cause poor field conditions - slowing down speedsters like Lamar Jackson and Marquise Brown. If that happens, we could end up with a good old fashioned slugfest on the ground, meaning plenty of work for Brieda (if healthy), Coleman, Mostert, and Wilson Jr.

The Ravens are favored by 5.5, but I’m not buying it. For all of the hype that Lamar Jackson has received - and deservedly so - the fact is that Jimmy Garoppolo is now 16-3 as the 49ers starting QB, and I’m putting my faith in him to pull out another close one in Baltimore.

49ers, 34-31

Akash Anavarathan (@akashanav)

All season long, I have picked the San Francisco 49ers — but their toughest test awaits. Quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Ravens have pummeled their last three opponents, 135-26, and have started to play well on both sides of the ball.

The 49ers have to travel cross-country and play at the 10 AM time slot, something that’s not usually favorable to West Coast teams. The weather also calls for rain, which is going to make it even tougher to attack the Ravens’ 3rd-ranked pass defense, per DVOA.

Baltimore is a well-coached bunch, with a dynamic MVP front-runner leading their offense. 49ers are getting healthier and are coming off of an equally dominant win. This will be the best offense that Robert Saleh’s group has faced, and I expect that they will struggle on Sunday.

San Francisco has not lost on the road, but I expect that to change on Sunday, as the 49ers will lose a tough, close game in Baltimore.

Ravens, 27-23

Alex Eisen

The 49ers travel cross country for a 1:00 p.m. kickoff time (10:00 a.m. PT) with a 100% chance of rain against the likely MVP and the hottest team in the league...No problem, right? This will be a close game, and the 49ers are going to have their opportunities to try and remain unbeaten on the road this year. I do not think Lamar Jackson will run all over this defense, and I don’t believe the 49ers will be run out of the building either. If the 49ers have any chance they must reestablish their ground game that has been so lethal at times this year. They are not going to stop Jackson completely, but must take away some of his running lanes and looks. They have to make Jackson beat them with his arm, especially with the lousy weather conditions they are expected to play in. The 49ers keep this close, but I believe the Ravens win this battle. However, there just may be more to this story to be told on February 2, 2020 in Miami if you get where I am going with this!

Ravens 24, 49ers 21