In a game that pitted brother against brother with Baltimore Ravens' head coach John Harbaugh facing off against San Francisco 49ers' head coach Jim Harbaugh, the Ravens proved that they had the better coach and were the better team—at least for one day—with their 16-6 win over the 49ers.
There were so many good storylines flying around in this game with the Harbaughs facing off against each other on one of the biggest family holidays, Thanksgiving, but to the football fan, that shouldn’t overshadow the fact that two of the best football teams in the country were also facing off.
The 49ers, who posted a 6-10 record and fired their head coach only last season, came into the game as one of the most surprising teams this year. Not many people would have predicted that they would have been able to be 9-1 after 10 games or that Jim Harbaugh would have been as successful as he has been.
The 49ers may be a surprising team, but unlike many teams that overachieve, they are not pretenders. They are a very good football team and can do everything that it takes to win games in the NFL very well.
First and foremost, they run the ball and stop the run, and that keeps them in every game. Second, they do not make many mistakes and force teams to beat them at their best. Those two factors alone overshadow many of the real weaknesses that they do have.
Against the Ravens, the 49ers’ game-plan was no different. Even though their offense was struggling, they continued to play to their defense, which was very good at limiting the Ravens' offense for the most part. There’s no question that the 49ers were in the game until the very end.
The Ravens and the 49ers are two similar and well-matched teams and were basically tied for most of the game as the teams were basically exchanging field goals.
The real turning point didn’t happen until the fourth quarter when Ravens' quarterback Joe Flacco threw a touchdown, the only one of the game. That touchdown ultimately forced the 49ers to press their offense and ultimately tipped the game in the Ravens' favor.
There wasn’t much to dislike about this game for football fans, and for Ravens' fans, a win in a solid showing makes it even better.
The Ravens were able to build on their victory from last week and continued to fix many of the problems and issues that they’ve been dealing with all season. This may have been the Ravens' best and most complete game so far, so let’s take a look at what we learned from Baltimore’s win.