Christmas night will see two of the best teams in football duke it out in the form of the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens.
Given the current injuries to the Niners, could this game turn into a high scoring shootout?
On paper, the matchup versus Baltimore is a tough one for the 49ers especially on the defensive side of the ball. With injuries to their interior defensive linemen Arik Armstead, Javon Hargrave, and Kalia Davis, the 49ers face a tall task against a Ravens offense that leads the league in rushing.
Factor in the far too many missed tackles committed by the Niners last week against a 3-11 Arizona Cardinals team, and you can already see that there is a possibility the Ravens could run all San Francisco on Monday night.
Obviously, quarterback Lamar Jackson poses a great threat both as a passer and as a rusher. The Ravens also have a more than capable rushing threat in running back Gus Edwards. While the injury to their rookie running back Keaton Mitchell definitely makes their rushing corps weaker, they are still a very scary team when running the ball and imposing their will on the opposing defense.
However, even if the Ravens do have success on offense, the 49ers have a pretty good offense of their own led by MVP candidate Brock Purdy. The Ravens may have one of the best defensive units in the league, but they have yet to face a team with as many offensive weapons as San Francisco.
I could easily see this game turning into a back-and-forth, high-scoring contest where both defenses struggle to contain the other team. Perhaps something similar to the thrilling 48-46 victory the 49ers enjoyed in 2019 over the New Orleans Saints.
Of course, now that I have written this, it will probably be a 17-13 defensive slugfest. But if you look at the matchup on paper, we could definitely see a lot on offense on Monday night in Santa Clara.