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 exhausting. They compete exhausting. Everyone needs to be revered,” coach John Harbaugh stated. “There’s one option to be revered, and that is to go on the market and earn that.”
An exhilarating matchup between the AFC and NFC’s high groups
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 sturdy performances on either 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 subject 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 pressured a punt on the opening drive of the second half, Jackson capped a drive by throwing a 6-yard landing go to Nelson Agholor.
Purdy then was intercepted by Patrick Queen on the subsequent play from scrimmage. Jackson instantly turned that into one other rating with a 9-yard TD go to Zay Flowers that made it 30-12.
Lamar Jackson touted as ‘MVP’ by John Harbaugh
“I assumed Lamar had an MVP efficiency tonight,” Harbaugh stated. “It takes a crew to create a efficiency like that, but it surely takes a participant to play at that degree, to play at an MVP degree, it takes a participant to play that method. Lamar was everywhere in the subject.”
Jackson threw for 252 yards, ran for 45 extra and vaulted previous Purdy to turn into the MVP favourite, in line with FanDuel Sportsbook. His solely actual mishap got here when he obtained referred to as for intentional grounding ultimately zone after almost tripping over the umpire, resulting in a security within the first quarter.
“We obtained the W,” Jackson stated. “I do not actually care about efficiency. I simply need to win. That is what occurred tonight. On Christmas, I obtained my reward.”
Purdy had his roughest sport as a professional, changing into the primary 49ers quarterback to throw 4 interceptions in a sport since Colin Kaepernick in 2015, including a couple of extra close to interceptions and being unable to generate the massive performs that made him the league’s best quarterback coming into the sport.
Purdy was benched for Sam Darnold in 4th quarter
Purdy completed 18 for 32 for 255 yards earlier than getting changed by Sam Darnold after getting a stinger within the fourth quarter.
“I did not thoughts his demeanor,” coach Kyle Shanahan stated about Purdy. “He stayed in there and saved battling. Our complete crew 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 report along with his eighth straight sport with at the very least 100 yards from scrimmage.
This marquee matchup marked the second time ever that the groups with sole possession of the most effective report 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 most effective report 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 won’t let one flip into two,” linebacker Fred Warner stated. “We have to wipe this one. Study from it, in fact, watch the tape exhausting, be trustworthy with your self, however we have to get proper again to work. We will not let this have an effect on our confidence as a crew. We all know who we’re.”
The Ravens remained a sport forward of Miami for the most effective report 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 at present in playoff positioning, outscoring them by 16.4 factors per sport.
“We play a model of soccer that folks do not need to play,” Queen stated. “Everyone needs to be out right here cute taking part in basketball on grass. We’re not with all that. For those who try this stuff, you are simply going to get hit within the mouth each play.”
Ravens: Hamilton (knee) left the sport within the fourth quarter and did not return, whereas G Kevin Zeitler (thigh) and RT Patrick Mekari (head damage) additionally left within the second half. Harbaugh stated not one of the injures seem severe.
49ers: LT Trent Williams (groin) left the sport within the third quarter and can want an MRI. … T Jaylon Moore (concussion) and LG Aaron Banks (toe) additionally left with accidents within the second half.
Ravens: Host Miami on Sunday.
49ers: Go to Washington on Sunday.