Believe it or not, I’m actually going to use a line from our resident nutjob Merton in Indianapolis to describe the Thanksgiving night appearance of the big, bad San Francisco 49′ers.
As ol’ Merton would say: ”All bluster and no muster”.
Really? That’s all the 49′ers had to offer on Thursday night?
Well, so much for Jim Harbaugh’s team being any good.
The Ravens borrowed a page from the book of year’s gone by and simply “managed the game” to a near perfect style, producing a workmanlike 16-6 win over the 49′ers to improve to 8-3 on the year.
And it really WAS that easy.
Sure, it was tied 6-6 heading into the 4th quarter, but this one never really was in doubt because the 49′ers could have kept playing until Barry Bonds is forgiven and they still wouldn’t have mounted a real scoring threat.
Playing without Ray Lewis for a second straight game, Baltimore’s defense unleashed a ferocious attack that had Alex Smith running for his life most of the night. I’m not sure what Cory Redding and Terrell Suggs had for lunch, but someone should immediately get a shipment of it sent to the Orioles. It’s been a long time since two defensive players dominated a game like those two did on Thursday night.
Baltimore sacked Smith nine times on the night and with the exception of a first-half TD pass to Ted Ginn that was called back due to a penalty, the only time San Fran saw the end zone was when they ran through it during pre-game warm-ups. In the match-up of storied defense vs. up-and-coming offense, the guys in black scored a knockout. How much of a rear-beating did Baltimore give their west coast guests? Well, let’s just say this: The trainer handling cuts in the 49′ers corner needed a new box of towels at the end of the fight.
The victory essentially erases the woeful display in Seattle a few weeks ago and gives Baltimore continued hope of winning the AFC North and securing either the 1st or 2nd seed in the post-season. With a layup game coming in 10 days at Cleveland and a visit from the winless Colts the week after, the Ravens can go into glide mode for a few weeks before a pre-Christmas trip to San Diego that promises to get their full attention.
Make no mistake about it: The fabled Cleat-of-Reality was delivered to San Francisco on Thursday night. Given the chance to prove their mettle in front of a national TV audience, they were swallowed up whole by a nasty Ravens defense that put together perhaps their best overall performance of the season.