Robert Saleh said it best, “wear your big boy pads, because it’s going to be physical,” and he couldn’t have been more correct. The San Francisco 49ers fell in a tough back-and-forth battle with the Baltimore Ravens, 20-17. With Sunday’s loss, the 49ers fall to 10-2 on the season. Here are the takeaways from Sunday:
1. Despite the frigid conditions, the 49ers came out hot on their opening drive, highlighted by two big throws from Jimmy Garoppolo. The first, on 3rd-and-7, the quarterback connected with Kendrick Bourne on a low pass for a 30-yard gain. The second came on 4th-and-2 as Garoppolo chucked a 33-yard touchdown to Deebo Samuel, his third touchdown of the season.
San Francisco’s score on the opening drive was the first time the Ravens have allowed points on their opponent's opening possession this season.
2. It’s worth noting Baltimore had only punted twice over their last three games, and backup Robert Griffin III was in at quarterback during each of those drives (Cincinnati Bengals - 1, Houston Texans - 0, Los Angeles Rams - 1). San Francisco’s defense forced a Baltimore punt on their first drive, that included a big pass breakup by Fred Warner. Warner also had another crucial PBU in the fourth quarter on 4th-and-4. The linebacker stretched out his arms to deny the pass intended for Ravens tight end Mark Andrews. San Francisco’s defense forced two punts and the aforementioned fourth down stop.
3. The 49ers were off to a perfect start in the first quarter until an untimely forced fumble by safety Chuck Clark on Garoppolo gave Baltimore excellent field position. Two plays later, Lamar Jackson found Andrews in the end zone for the touchdown. Baltimore managed to score on two consecutive drives. The second, Jackson found the end zone on a go-ahead touchdown to take the lead.
4. The 49ers immediately responded with a 5-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in a Raheem Mostert touchdown. Garoppolo connected with Samuel, Jeff Wilson Jr. and Emmanuel Sanders as the 49ers muscled into Ravens territory. On 1st-and-10, Mostert took the handoff and dodged several defenders en route to the end zone for his fourth touchdown of the season.
Mostert finished the game with a career-high 146 yards on 19 carries to go along with his score.
5. Marcell Harris replaced Jaquiski Tartt, who left the game with a rib injury. Two plays in, the second-year safety came up big, stripping the ball out of Jackson’s arms. On the designed run, the quarterback nearly picked up 14 yards when he was hit by the safety, forcing the ball out which landed in Harris’ lap. Harris’ strip marked Jackson’s first fumble of the season. The 49ers takeaway led to a Robbie Gould field goal to tie the game up at 17 apiece.
“That was a huge turnover that he had,” Shanahan said. “They got a couple big runs right away. Then they got that one and he made a huge turnover. I think we went a 15-play drive after that and got a field goal. So that was one of the big turning points in the game. Gave us a chance to win.”
6. San Francisco drove down the field in the fourth quarter and was stopped on 4th-and-1 in Baltimore territory. The Ravens capitalized off of the turnover on downs, running down the clock which resulted in a walk-off, 49-yard field goal by Justin Tucker.
7. Garoppolo finished the game 15-of-21 passing for 165 yards and one touchdown for a 110.2 passer rating.
8. In addition to Tartt, D.J. Jones left the game with an ankle injury. He will be further evaluated when the team arrives to Sarasota, Fla., in preparation for the Week 14 matchup against the New Orleans Saints. Richard Sherman also left the game briefly with a knee injury. He returned one play later.