The San Francisco 49ers fell in a thriller on Sunday to the surging Baltimore Ravens. The 20-17 loss was the 49ers’ second on the season, succumbing again to a last-second field goal reminiscent of their Week 10 contest against the Seattle Seahawks. There’s no time to sulk for Kyle Shanahan and crew, though, who remain on the East coast to prepare for next week’s matchup against the 10-2 New Orleans Saints.
Let’s take a look at the weekly stock report for the 49ers’ loss:
Stock up: Run game
The Ravens defense was among the league’s best against the run heading into their bout with the 49ers, yet they struggled to stop Shanahan’s offense from rolling on the ground. Backup running back and special teams ace Raheem Mostert authored a career performance. He ran the ball 19 times for 146 yards and a score, averaging 7.6 yards per carry. Tevin Coleman struggled with only six yards on five carries, surrendering touches in lieu of Mostert’s success. With Matt Breida expected back this week, the 49ers’ backfield has never looked stronger, with three legitimate starting-caliber backs.
Stock down: Play-calling
The 49ers’ head coach stumbled at the end of both halves. The 49ers got the ball on the 23-yard line with 1:58 remaining in the first - your standard two-minute drill. Shanahan mismanaged the clock, allowing 41 seconds to run off in between a completion to receiver Deebo Samuel and a 16-yard run from Mostert. He was more concerned with leaving time for the Ravens than scoring the points that could’ve made the difference. The 49ers came away with nothing after attempting a 51-yard field goal in the rain and mud that was tipped at the line. Coupled with his decision to throw on 4th-and-1 in the fourth quarter, Sunday was one to forget for Shanahan’s status as the 49ers’ play-caller.
Stock up: Big picture
If you’re a glass-half-full type, then there’s plenty to be encouraged by after the 49ers’ showing against the Ravens. This is the same Baltimore team that handled the New England Patriots just a couple weeks earlier. San Francisco, despite plenty of doubters through the first half of the season, has proven itself a playoff-caliber team capable of making a deep push into January and maybe even February. The team’s only two losses have been against two 10-2 squads, both coming down to last-second field goals.
Stock down: Playoff standing
The 49ers were the No. 1 seed in the NFC prior to playing the Ravens. Sunday’s loss, coupled with Monday’s win for the Seahawks, drops the 49ers to the No. 5 seed. They’re currently slated against the 6-6 Dallas Cowboys on Wildcard Weekend, but plenty could change before then. This week’s matchup against the 10-2 Saints is priority No. 1 for the 49ers, with New Orleans the new reigning top seed in the NFC. If both the Seahawks and 49ers win out over the three weeks, their Week 17 matchup in Seattle will determine who lands a coveted first-round bye entering into the playoffs.
Stock up and down: Defense
You could make a case for both after the 49ers’ defensive performance on Sunday. They looked surprised by quarterback Lamar Jackson, and the option plays that the Ravens have put on tape all season. Off-schedule plays are always hard to contain, but the defense was lost on designed reads, consistently leaving Jackson to keep the ball and run for a first down. He carried the ball 16 times for 101 yards and a score, averaging 6.3 yards per rush.
On the other hand, holding the league’s No. 2 offense, just three points in the second half should count for something. The 49ers defense adjusted, like it always does, and successfully stifled the Ravens offense over the final two quarters - all the way up until the final drive. Unfortunately, the 49ers offense only got the ball three times in the second half and only managed three points, failing to close the gap.