San Francisco 49ers head coach had a few head-scratchers against the Ravens. The biggest one may have been his decision on fourth down. He said, “I didn’t mind the decision at all, not running. But I wish I had called a better pass play.” 99.9% of the time, I’d be on board with this call, but it feels like Shanahan is ignoring the flow of the game. Even with a loaded box, the 49ers offensive line man-handled Baltimore’s defensive front all game. The probability of you picking up a yard was very high in that situation, considering the success that you’ve already had.
Shanahan confirmed his “strategy” towards the end of the half was to keep the ball away from Baltimore. The thought process is flawed there, in my opinion. It’s not about the other team; it’s about you. Put your offense in the best position to succeed and score. If you do that, you’re not relying on a kicker to kick a 51-yarder in the rain. The Ravens hadn’t stopped you. My problem was Shanahan ignored the flow of the game to that point. The offense was rolling. The way I view it is you’re essentially conceding points, so the other team doesn’t score. Play to win. How? Scoring points. Both of the Ravens scoring drives took over six minutes off the clock. It’s not as if they were marching down the field and scoring within a few plays.
Shanahan also said that he’s very proud of his team, and he hopes to get a chance to play the Ravens again. Seconded. It seems like these two teams are a cut above everyone else in the NFL.
Richard Sherman, who had a significant limp postgame, but will play next week, said this about the 49ers defense: We’re one of the best defenses in football. That’s not us saying that that’s our numbers and what’s on tape.” The defense held the MVP to three points and 4.1 yards per play in the second half — Credit Robert Saleh for adjusting. Lamar Jackson made a few plays in crunch time that very few quarterbacks in this league can make.
Jimmy Garoppolo said, “we have room for improvement. Plenty of things we can do better.” Garoppolo also talked about the fourth downplay. He said, “thought we had a chance with George. Good play by the defensive lineman.”
There’s no real reason to panic. The 49ers have lost two games all season at the hands of the two leaders in the MVP race and lost on game-winning kicks. With the loss, the 49ers are now tied for the best record in the NFL. Super Bowl champions don’t win in Week 13. The team needs to grow and evolve from Sunday’s game. Sunday’s loss just means San Francisco no longer controls their destiny. If Seattle beats Minnesota on Monday night football, they take over the lead in the NFC West.