John wins the brother duel on Thanksgiving

November 30, 2011 | Michael Schwartz

The Ravens hosted the 49ers on Thanksgiving in primetime. For the first time in NFL history two brothers coached against each other. John Harbaugh led the Ravens against Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers. The Ravens came into this game after knocking off the division rival Cincinnati Bengals. The 49ers just came off of a win versus the Arizona Cardinals. The Ravens were 7-3 and the 49ers were 9-1. Both teams are led by their defense and they both have great linebackers. The 49ers have Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman and the Ravens have Terrell Suggs, Ray Lewis, and the underrated Jarret Johnson. Ray Lewis didn’t play in this game because of turf toe but Ed Reed took his place as the defenses leader.

The Ravens were able to move the ball on the 49ers but couldn’t finish a drive. They were running the ball better than most teams do against the 49ers, who haven’t allowed a 100 yard rusher in over 30 games. The Ravens won this game 16-6 but they dominated the game more than the score shows. Their defense sacked Alex Smith nine times. Flacco was not sacked at all. The Ravens offense looked more in sync then the 49ers.

I think this should propel the Ravens to win out the year but they have not done a good job this year after a big win. They lost to the Titans after a big win against the Steelers, they lost to the Jaguars after killing the Rams, and they lost to the Seahawks after beating the Steelers for the second time. They play the Browns this week who played very well against the Bengals and have the ability to win at home against the Ravens.

The main story of this game is still the brother vs. brother. Both underplayed how big the game was for them all week, but they knew it was a lot bigger than they thought. After the game, they hugged and told each other they loved them. After the game, John’s daughter said her dad was different that week. In the end the older, more experienced coach won.