San Francisco 49ers: Top Takeaways from Week 6 Win over Ravens


The San Francisco 49ers got their second win of the 2015 NFL season in Week 6 after dropping the visiting Baltimore Ravens 25-20.

“I think we’re a 2-4 football team that needs to get some more wins.” – quarterback Colin Kaepernick

Baltimore made it interesting in the final minutes with an all-or-nothing pass to the end zone, but a last-minute heartbreak would not be the case as the 49ers defense came up with the crucial stand it was lacking the week before in New Jersey.

While the defense wasn’t perfect, San Francisco’s offense was able to replicate similar success over the course of the game.

The 49ers gained a total of 391 yards on offense — not an extreme amount by any means — but San Francisco was able to average 7.1 yards per play in comparison to the Ravens’ 5.6.

This was, perhaps, the biggest factor in San Francisco’s victory. And two turnovers generated by the 49ers defense also helped keep San Francisco in the lead.

Oct 18, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) looks on during warmups before the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Colin Kaepernick Maintains Rhythm

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick passed for 262 yards and two touchdowns in a losing effort against the New York Giants in Week 5. He followed up that effort with his best game of the season against Baltimore. The 49ers quarterback passed for 340 yards on 16 passes for two touchdowns against zero interceptions.

Kaepernick still made some mistakes under center. Two of Kaepernick’s passes could have been interceptions had it not been for drops from the Ravens defense. There were also a couple of reads Kaepernick missed.

But, overall, Kaepernick’s Week 6 effort was solid. His season-best 128.2 passer rating is an indication of this.

Early on, Kaepernick found some rhythm thanks to the receiving efforts of fullback Bruce Miller. Miller hauled in a third-down 52-yard pass in the first quarter. Miller had been scantly used by the 49ers offense this season prior to the game.

“We had opportunities and took advantage of them,” Kaepernick said via Joe Fann of “Bruce (Miller) made some great plays and our offensive line came out strong.”

Kaepernick also hit wideouts Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin for big plays during the game.

The quarterback’s final touchdown came on a 21-yard touchdown reception by wide receiver Quinton Patton. The score marked Patton’s first NFL touchdown of his career and ended up being the game-winner.

Despite the strong outing, Kaepernick realizes there still is a lot of work to be done in advance of a short week prior to the arrival of the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday.

“I think we’re a 2-4 football team that needs to get some more wins,” Kaepernick continued. “We need this win on Thursday.”

Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith Go Off

Playing against their former Ravens team certainly gave both Boldin and Smith some added motivation in Week 6.

And neither receiver disappointed.

Smith’s big moment came on a 76-yard touchdown reception from Kaepernick in the second quarter, and the deep pass helped set San Francisco’s offensive momentum throughout the rest of the game.

Ironically, Smith’s touchdown reception came against former 49ers cornerback Shareece Wright, whom San Francisco released earlier this week. The 49ers made a point of targeting their former defensive back who also gave up the game-winning touchdown to Patton later in the game.

Smith finished with 98 receiving yards on three catches.

Equally impressive were the efforts of Boldin. The veteran wideout finished with 102 yards on five catches and, while he didn’t find the end zone, helped set up Patton’s score with a 51-yard reception.

Boldin had the wind knocked out of him on the play after having fallen on the football. But the catch was an impressive one nonetheless.

Big plays from Boldin and Smith helped Kaepernick and the offense throughout the contest. And this will need to be something in continuation as San Francisco prepares itself for Thursday night.

The Defense Bends but Doesn’t Quite Break

Any win is a good one at the NFL level. And San Francisco’s defense didn’t give up the last-second touchdown, which was so painful against the Giants in Week 5.

Still, the 49ers defense had its own share of problems against the Ravens. Once more, an opponent’s top wideout was able to most more than 100 yards in the game. Veteran wideout Steve Smith, who was dealing with a back injury entering the contest, posted 137 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions. And Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco passed for 343 yards and two touchdowns against the two picks.

Baltimore won the time-of-possession battle 33:07 to 26:53 and outgained San Francisco 420 yards to 391.

Oct 18, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) reacts to the crowd during the fourth quarter of the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers defeated the Ravens 25-20. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

But the 49ers did their job enough at the conclusion of the game.

“The toughest part is learning to stay composed and for everybody to learn to be on-point all the time, 100 percent of the time,” linebacker Michael Wilhoite said via Matt Maiocco of CSN Bay Area. “I think that the little mistakes last game that were killing us up until the end of the game, was where we corrected ourselves and made the improvement and grew.”

Veteran safety Antoine Bethea also focused on the positives via Maiocco.

”Keep them out of the end zone,” Bethea said. “At the end of the day that’s what it’s all about, keeping them out of the end zone. Last week it was definitely a sour feeling giving up that last play, so this week it was definitely a better outcome.”

San Francisco’s defense still has its share of problems. This unit failed to record a single sack and had just one quarterback hit courtesy of linebacker NaVorro Bowman.

These will be elements upon which the 49ers will need to work in advance of their Week 7 contest against the Seahawks.

If they do, the 49ers stand a chance to come away with an upset. And San Francisco’s offense will have to replicate its back-to-back strong efforts in the short week.

All statistics, records and accolades courtesy of and unless otherwise indicated.

Next: Ravens vs. 49ers: Complete Team Grades for San Francisco

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