SANTA CLARA, Calif. — If the uncommon late-season matchup between the highest groups within the NFL was an announcement sport, Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens delivered a loud one to the remainder of the league.
Jackson threw two landing passes in a span of 18 seconds within the third quarter and the Ravens intercepted Brock Purdy 4 instances in a 33-19 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday evening.
“Our guys work arduous. They compete arduous. All people needs to be revered,” coach John Harbaugh mentioned. “There’s one strategy to be revered, and that’s to go on the market and earn that.”
Jackson and the Ravens (12-3) turned a extremely anticipated matchup between the highest two groups within the NFL right into a lopsided win with robust performances on each side of the ball.
Kyle Hamilton and the protection set the tone early by intercepting Purdy on three of the primary 4 drives of the sport for the 49ers (11-4) earlier than Jackson began to take over.
He scrambled 30 yards to arrange a discipline objective on the ultimate play of the primary half to offer the Ravens a 16-12 lead after which helped put the sport away early within the third quarter.
After Baltimore compelled a punt on the opening drive of the second half, Jackson capped a drive by throwing a 6-yard landing move to Nelson Agholor.
Purdy then was intercepted by Patrick Queen on the following play from scrimmage.
Jackson instantly turned that into one other rating with a 9-yard TD move to Zay Flowers that made it 30-12.
“I believed Lamar had an MVP efficiency tonight,” Harbaugh mentioned. “It takes a staff to create a efficiency like that, nevertheless it takes a participant to play at that degree, to play at an MVP degree, it takes a participant to play that manner. Lamar was all around the discipline.”
Jackson threw for 252 yards, ran for 45 extra and vaulted previous Purdy to develop into the MVP favourite, in accordance with FanDuel Sportsbook.
His solely actual mishap got here when he obtained known as for intentional grounding in the long run zone after almost tripping over the umpire, resulting in a security within the first quarter.
“We obtained the W,” Jackson mentioned. “I don’t actually care about efficiency. I simply need to win. That’s what occurred tonight. On Christmas, I obtained my present.”
Purdy had his roughest sport as a professional, turning into the primary 49ers quarterback to throw 4 interceptions in a sport since Colin Kaepernick in 2015, including just a few extra close to interceptions and being unable to generate the large performs that made him the league’s most effective quarterback coming into the sport.
Purdy completed 18 for 32 for 255 yards earlier than getting changed by Sam Darnold after getting a stinger within the fourth quarter.
“I didn’t thoughts his demeanor,” coach Kyle Shanahan mentioned about Purdy. “He stayed in there and stored battling. Our complete staff struggled there within the second half, so it wasn’t simply him.”
San Francisco’s different MVP candidate fared much better with operating again Christian McCaffrey operating for 102 yards and a TD and including 28 yards receiving.
He set a franchise document along with his eighth straight sport with not less than 100 yards from scrimmage.
This marquee matchup marked the second time ever that the groups with sole possession of the perfect document in every convention performed in Week 16 or later.
Each groups stay on high of their conferences.
The Niners are in a three-way tie with Philadelphia and Detroit for the perfect document within the NFC and might nonetheless clinch the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye with wins of their last two video games.
“The mindset is we will’t let one flip into two,” linebacker Fred Warner mentioned. “We’ve obtained to wipe this one. Be taught from it, after all, watch the tape arduous, be trustworthy with your self, however we’ve obtained to get proper again to work. We are able to’t let this have an effect on our confidence as a staff. We all know who we’re.”
The Ravens remained a sport forward of Miami for the perfect document within the AFC and might clinch the No. 1 seed with a win subsequent week in opposition to the Dolphins.
Baltimore improved to 6-1 this season in opposition to groups presently in playoff positioning, outscoring them by 16.4 factors per sport.
“We play a model of soccer that individuals don’t need to play,” Queen mentioned. “All people needs to be out right here cute taking part in basketball on grass. We’re not with all that. When you try this stuff, you’re simply going to get hit within the mouth each play.”