The 49ers passed one of their biggest tests of the season on Sunday night, smashing the formally 8-2 Packers 37-8 in front of a national TV audience at Levi’s Stadium. Their reward? A trip to Baltimore to play the hottest team in football and a player who will likely take home the MVP.
It doesn’t get more marquee than next Sunday’s Ravens-49ers matchup. Led by the incomparable Lamar Jackson, Baltimore has won their last six games, including blowout wins over the Patriots (37-20) and Texans (41-7).
The game will be a classic case of an unstoppable force — the Ravens have the top scoring offense in the league at 34.1 points per game — meeting an immoveable object — the 49ers have the best scoring defense in the NFC allowing just 14.9 points per game.
Despite the contrasting strengths, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network sees similarities between the two teams, specifically on the offensive end.
“Although the way they do it offensively is different — with Jimmy Garoppolo and Lamar — there are a lot of similarities between the 49ers and the Ravens,” Rapoport said on “Murph & Mac” Monday morning. “I think mostly because both of these teams when they are on offense can overwhelm the defense with the variety of the way they run the ball.”
The Ravens and 49ers are the two best rushing offenses in football, averaging 203.1 and 145.6 yards per game respectively. Incredibly, Jackson is the 11th leading rusher in the NFL with 781 total yards, and averages more yards per carry, 6.7, than any player. The club’s primary running back, Mark Ingram, is 13th in the NFL in total rushing, averaging 4.9 per carry.
“Literally the best teams now get after you on defense and run the ball in creative ways on offense,” Rapoport continued.
“Jimmy G was very good yesterday obviously, but the 49ers are a running team. The Ravens are a running team. First of all it’s probably going to be a very fast game–like two hours and 10 minutes because they are just going to run the heck out of the ball.”
Listen to the full interview below. To hear Rap on 49ers-Ravens, start from 6:05.