In what is both a rematch of Super Bowl 47, and a possible preview of Super Bowl 54, the San Francisco 49ers take their 10-1 record into Baltimore to face the 9-2 Ravens. But despite being certainly the biggest game of Week 13 in the NFL, the matchup is scheduled for the early, 1 p.m. EST slot on Sunday and will not even receive a national telecast by the Fox Network.
Baltimore comes in riding its first seven-game winning streak since 2000, the year the Ravens won the first of their two Super Bowl titles. The second came against the 49ers in the championship game that capped off the 2012 season.
The 49ers have won two games in a row after an overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 10, the only defeat of the season for San Francisco. Nonetheless, the Ravens are favored by 5-and-a-half points at home in the Sunday games, according to The Action Network. But in their last 10 games, both the 49ers and Ravens are 5-4-1 against the spread.
The Action Network statistical model gives the Ravens a 67 percent chance of winning their 10th game of the season — and handing the 49ers their second loss.
But if the 49ers are to pull off the upset, it will likely come down to the San Francisco pass rush against the Ravens' offensive line. The Ravens' dynamic, second-year quarterback, Lamar Jackson, has been sacked 20 times in the team's 11 games, while the San Francisco defense leads the NFL with 44 sacks — an average of four per game.
Watch a preview of the San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens possible Super Bowl preview in the video below, courtesy of NFL Network.Ravens safety Earl Thomas is already anticipating meeting the 49ers again in the Super Bowl, telling ESPN.com reporter Adam Schefter, "it could be, let's see."
"We'll just go out there and try to play the best football we can possibly do," Thomas said, quoted by Schefter via Twitter.
"And when the Super Bowl comes, whoever we play, they're going to be in trouble."The 49ers hold the dubious distinction of becoming the first 10-1 team in 12 seasons to head into a game as the underdog, according to CBS Sports. The last time a 10-1 team was listed as an underdog came when the 2007 Green Bay Packers took on the Dallas Cowboys — who were also 10-1 at the time. The Packers lost that game.
San Francisco, however, has the league's leading defense in terms of fewest yards allowed, with 2,728. But in Week 9, the Ravens dismantled the league's other top defense, the New England Patriots, who rank second in yards allowed and first in fewest points given up. Jackson carved up the New England defense for a stunning 37 points. Against all other opponents, the Patriots have allowed an average of only eight points per game.