Lamar Jackson enters MVP conversation in Ravens’ win over 49ers

The Baltimore Ravens defense picked off San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks five times and sacked them four times as Lamar Jackson passed for two touchdowns in a big 33-19 win on Monday night.

Kyle Hamilton had two interceptions as Patrick Queen, Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Williams each had one. 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy was knocked out of the game in the fourth quarter and Sam Darnold was thrust into the matchup. Darnold had a touchdown pass but still came up short.

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Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens high fives a fan while heading into the locker room after the first half against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on December 25, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Loren Elliott/Getty Images)

Jackson put his name into the MVP conversation as Purdy and running back Christian McCaffrey fell short in the game. The star quarterback was 23-of-35 with 252 passing yards. He had touchdown passes to Zay Flowers and Nelson Agholor. He connected with eight different targets in the game.

The two touchdown passes and a Justin Tucker field goal were part of a 17-point third quarter. The Flowers touchdown came after a Queen interception.

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Purdy was 18-for-32 wit 255 passing yards and four picks before he was out of the game. McCaffrey ran for 103 yards and scored a rushing touchdown. He added six catches for 28 yards.

Christian McCaffrey runs

Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers runs the ball during the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at Levi’s Stadium on December 25, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk were both over 100 yards receiving. Kittle had seven catches for 126 yards. Aiyuk had six catches for 113 yards. Ronnie Bell had the lone touchdown catch.

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Ravens defensive lineman Justin Madubuike was contained for the most part during the game. His streak of at least a half-sack ended at 11 games.

The Ravens put themselves in a good position to clinch home-field advantage for the playoffs with the victory as well as put them on a path to win the AFC North. Baltimore’s 12th win of the year puts them one game up on the Miami Dolphins in the AFC playoff standings.

Kyle Hamilton interception

Kyle Hamilton #14 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with teammates after his interception during the first quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium on December 25, 2023 in Santa Clara, California. (Loren Elliott/Getty Images)

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San Francisco is still on a good path to clinch home-field advantage in the NFC if they win out. A loss against an out of conference opponent isn’t going to tarnish them too much. But they cannot afford to falter next week against the Washington Commanders.

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