The San Francisco 49ers dropped to 11-4 following a 33-19 loss at home to the Baltimore Ravens in a game where they struggled on both sides of the ball against a top contender.
Offensively, the 49ers committed five turnovers, with four coming courtesy of quarterback Brock Purdy in the losing effort.
Defensively, San Francisco seemed defeated in the second half, as the Ravens were able to do whatever they pleased in the 14-point victory.
Here are three quick takeaways from the 49ers’ 33-19 loss to the Ravens on Monday.
Coming into the game, the turnover margin was going to be a big factor, considering how well both sides have played on the offensive side of the ball.
On Monday, the Ravens dominated the turnover margin, securing five interceptions, while giving up zero takeaways.
Baltimore was able to pick Brock Purdy off four separate times, with two coming in Ravens’ territory.
Then, with the game winding down and the 49ers pressing in the red zone with two minutes left, Baltimore picked off backup quarterback Sam Darnold to seal the game.
Following the game, Baltimore has become tied for first in the NFL in turnover margin, while the 49ers dropped to fourth.
San Francisco has been atop the turnover margin this season, but were out-handled by the Ravens and their stingy defense. Those turnovers cost them the game.
Brock Purdy struggled on Monday. There’s no other way to put it.
After an ugly first interception to emerging safety Kyle Hamilton, Purdy could never settle down, as the quarterback looked shaky in the pocket behind a collapsing offensive line, and ultimately finished with four interceptions.
Purdy has a few questions to asneer after this one, as the second-year quarterback likely saw his MVP odds drop right in front of him.
Is Purdy finished? Not at all. But, the 49ers now need two victories to confidently pull out the No. 1 seed, and the quest for that mission starts with Purdy.
In a bit of a scary sight, Purdy left the game in the fourth quarter with what the coaching staff deemed as a stinger and did not return, despite being medically cleared, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan.
It appeared that Purdy was capable of going, but Shanahan advised against the idea due to the score and the injuries to the offensive line.
Following the game, many fans blamed head coach Kyle Shanahan’s playcalling for the loss, specifically pointing out the 44 passes that San Francisco threw in comparison to their 16 rushes.
However, despite the pass-heavy script to start, the 49ers were fairly balanced in the first half, rushing 12 times and throwing 16 times.
Diving deeper into the numbers, the 49ers got into Ravens territory on each of their first three drives while operating with the pass-heavy script, although a field goal and two interceptions derailed their plans.
The #49ers got into Baltimore territory all 3 times to start the game with the pass-heavy script. It was working.— Rohan Chakravarthi (@RohanChakrav) December 26, 2023
The turnovers were the reason that the success wasn't there. First one was purely on Brock Purdy. Second was a great defensive play. https://t.co/ARwpbsf6Jo
Following those three drives, the 49ers finished the half with five passes and four rushes, while rushing on first down three times.
Coming out of the half, the 49ers ran once again on first down, only to be stuffed, leading to a long 2nd & 9.
San Francisco could never dig itself out of that hole, as the Ravens scored a touchdown on the next possession before following another Purdy interception with a one-play scoring drive to push the game to 30-12.
That second-half stretch lasted about three minutes, yet the Ravens outscored the 49ers 14-0 and took full direction of the game.
From there, down three scores, the 49ers were forced to throw at a much higher pace in an attempt to keep up.
If pointing to any stretch that cost the 49ers the game, it would be their response coming out of the second half. San Francisco had an opportunity to take the lead with the ball in their hands and ultimately couldn’t put it all together.
Next week, they’ll look to right the ship against the Washington Commanders, who have struggled significantly this season.