San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens: Live Score, Video, Tweets and Analysis

Matt BirchFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2011

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 24:  Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the San Francisco 49ers (L) hugs his brother head coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens (R) after the Ravens defeated the 49ers 16-6 at M&T Bank Stadium on November 24, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

We expected a defensive battle in tonight’s Harbaugh Bowl, and that's exactly what we witnessed.

In a game that featured just 467 yards of total offense, field goals and big hits were bountiful. The 49ers failed to score a touchdown on the night, as Baltimore's defense showed why they are clearly among the top three units in the NFL.

The Ravens tied their franchise record with nine sacks, and they were in 49ers' QB Alex Smith’s face nearly every time he dropped back to pass. The team even lined up in a few 3-TE sets to help protect their QB, but it didn't matter.

And his numbers reflected the pressure he faced, as he completed 15-of-24 passes for only 140 yards (one interception).

We expected a heavy dose of RBs Ray Rice (21 carries, 59 yards) and Frank Gore (14 carries, 39 yards), but neither were the difference-makers in tonight's game. The elite running backs were kept in check by the stout, physical defensive fronts.

This game was won and lost in the trenches.

The key drive was enabled by a couple of missed tackles by the 49ers, and occurred midway through the fourth quarter when the game was tied, 6-6. Flacco made a few of key third-down completions and capped the 76-yard, 16-play drive off by hitting TE Dennis Pitta in the end zone for a 8-yard strike.

It was Pitta's first touchdown catch of his career—and a big one—the only touchdown of the game.

Tonight we witnessed an old-fashioned, smash-mouth-football affair.The Ravens defense completely dominated—holding the 49ers to just 170 net yards—and led the way to a 10-point victory in front of the home crowd.

John (Harbaugh) has won this round.

Final score: Ravens 16, 49ers 6