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One reason why the 49ers will beat the Ravens (and one reason why they won’t)

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It’s time for us to look at each matchup and give one reason why the San Francisco 49ers can succeed at each of their opponents and one reason why they cannot.

The San Francisco 49ers’ season happens tomorrow! We’re still rounding out the schedule with how preseason, training camps, etc. have looked and how the 49ers are going to do later in the season. We’ve included a poll for the community to vote on whether they expect a win or a loss and will see what kind of prediction this provides at the end. Things will trickle into Week 1 and then we’ll see how accurate we are.

Week 1 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 2 @ Cincinnati Bengals
Week 3 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 5 vs. Cleveland Browns
Week 6 @ Los Angeles Rams
Week 7 @ Washington
Week 8 vs. Carolina Panthers
Week 9 @ Arizona Cardinals
Week 10 vs. Seattle Seahawks
Week 11 vs. Arizona Cardinals
Week 12 vs. Green Bay Packers

The Ravens have gone through a difficult rebuild but made it to the playoffs last year. The interesting part of this is that during that rise in 2018, Lamar Jackson showed versatility using the read option. And now the Ravens are going to run that offense specifically. You can read our opponent preview to see what else the Ravens have been up to, but the big news is they brought in Greg Roman as offensive coordinator due to his experience running the pistol with Colin Kaepernick. We saw how this ended then, but maybe this offense can really have a chance.

Then again, the 49ers lost a lot of games under Roman from predictable play calling.

Reason for: The read option/pistol offense/zone read

Yes, they are all different. The Ravens will have had 12 weeks to either shock the world or suffer the same fate so many other teams have when using zone read/pistol—whatever offense they are using. I’ll lean on the latter. By now the 49ers will have had a chance to look at film and get the defense ready for such a scheme. The Ravens also will have faced the New England Patriots and if anyone can provide a blueprint to stopping a team, it’s Bill Belichick.

Plus there’s no telling Lamar Jackson is still standing. That offense can take its toll on a quarterback, though I’ve seen Colin Kaepernick make it through full seasons running it, so it’s not anything to make a bet on.

When relied upon, that offense just doesn’t offer enough variety at the pro level to be consistently effective. It eventually deteriorates once defenses figure it out, get honest, and know where to go. The question is if this is a matter of years or seasons. Will the 49ers be surprised? Perhaps, but if the defense doesn’t bite on the first fake handoff, there’s not much Jackson can do passing the ball. If the 49ers defensive line is healthy coming in here, this could get ugly.

Reason against: Baltimore defense

The Ravens lost a few key cogs in that defense and what its 2019 iteration will be is anyone’s guess. That’s the problem, we don’t know how good—or bad—this defense will be with all the key losses. Much like the offense trending downward as the season progresses, the defense could be doing the opposite.

Plus at this point in the season is when injuries can start to take their toll on a team and the 49ers offensive line could have one injury forcing depth. Depth is something they don’t have.

Poll

What will happen in Week 13 against the Ravens?

This poll is closed

  • 69%
    49ers win
    (96 votes)
  • 30%
    49ers lose
    (42 votes)
138 votes total Vote Now