With the San Francisco 49ers visiting the red-hot Baltimore Ravens this Sunday, Niner Noise takes a look at five bold predictions for this contest with huge playoff implications.
One prediction says the 10-1 San Francisco 49ers will lose to the 9-2 Baltimore Ravens this Sunday, when the two teams square off at M&T Bank Stadium in Week 13.
At least according to the Action Network, which has the Niners listed as 5.5-point underdogs.
It surely makes sense. After all, the Ravens have averaged 43 points of offense over their last four games, while giving up a mere 11.5 points per game during that same span.
That includes Baltimore’s 45-6 beatdown of the 49ers’ NFC West rivals, the Los Angeles Rams, last week on Monday Night Football, too.
Yet San Francisco is coming off its own 37-8 demolishing of the visiting Green Bay Packers last week, and one could argue the Packers were the best overall competition the 49ers had faced yet this season.
Until Week 13, that is.
So, to help preview this epic bout with serious playoff implications on both sides, Niner Noise dishes out five bold predictions for Sunday’s contest.
Starting off with what might happen to the league’s likely MVP, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.
No. 5: Lamar Jackson Has His Worst Game of the Season
You wanted bold, right?
Jackson has been phenomenal this year, and anyone who says he shouldn’t be the MVP hasn’t watched him play at all. Or even looked at the stats, for that matter.
So far, Jackson is tied for the league lead in touchdown passes (24), including two games in which he tossed five. One of those was against the Rams last week. Additionally, he’s averaging an astounding 7.1 yards per rush, never being afraid to move in between the tackles, too.
Simply put, San Francisco has a lot of its plate containing Jackson.
But there are a few reasons why Jackson could be in line for his worst game of the year. Currently, that was back in Week 5 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, when he tossed one touchdown against three interceptions. This time, however, Jackson will be facing off against the No. 1-ranked 49ers pass defense, which is allowing opposing quarterbacks to throw for a mere 136.9 yards per game.
OK, maybe that limits Jackson through the air. What about his ability to move the ball on the ground?
Weather at M&T Bank Stadium is calling for nearly a 100-percent chance of rain, which could slow Jackson down slightly. Perhaps more, at least leveling the playing field a bit.
And if a more-rounded San Francisco offense is able to get on the board first and extend the lead, Jackson trying to play catch-up might lead to one of the poorer performances seen from him this season.
Boldly, the poorest on the year.