The San Francisco 49ers have faced off against the Baltimore Ravens just once in the Kyle Shanahan-John Lynch era, and that first and only meeting with the AFC North competitors did not end favorably for the 49ers. The 49ers 20-17 loss to the Ravens in Week 13 was one of three games the 2019 team dropped on the way to a Super Bowl LIV appearance.
There's been a ton of turnover on both teams with a few veteran carryovers. Tight end George Kittle is gearing up for his second go-around with Baltimore, and shared his memories from the last time these two teams went toe-to-toe.
"We ran outside zone really well," Kittle said. "That was really fun. We had some nice big plays there. It's different, they have a lot of different players on that team. (Marlon) Humphrey is still there... I get to go against my guy Geno Stone from Iowa... It's a different team, same mindset, same mentality, it seems like on film. I don't want to say bully, but they're going to bring it on every single play. They're going to be physical."
Sophomore quarterback Brock Purdy, who will be making his first-career start against the Ravens, identified that same physicality in his assessment of the league's No. 1 scoring defense (16.1 PPG allowed).
"They play really tight coverage. You don't see a lot of whole separation on film from other teams," Purdy said. "They play really sound, all together and they're physical. Their linebackers fly around. We've been saying all week, they remind us of our linebackers."
"For us, we understand how linebackers that fly around in play and that are smart, what it looks like going against our guys," Purdy said. "At the same time, they are a little bit different in how they do play... We just have to go in and play football, and we'll find out on Monday."
The other thing Purdy is expecting on Monday night is a playoff atmosphere at Levi's® Stadium in this clash between the top teams in football. Purdy is leaning on past experiences from the 49ers 2022 postseason run as well as some of the big games San Francisco has been a part of in 2023.
"It's Monday night, it's on Christmas. Those are all little things that get added to the table, but more than anything we are excited for it."