Instant Analysis: Ravens 16, 49ers 6

November 24, 2011

Peter Schmuck, columnist: The Ravens planted Alex Smith so many times he might bloom in the spring. Huge win gives them 10 days to rest, recuperate and figure out how to beat a bad team.

Kevin Van Valkenburg, staff writer: It's starting to feel like the Ravens have sharpened their focus. This game was always going to be a bit like a boxing match, where two heavyweights locked one another up so often that clean shots were hard to come by. But Baltimore just kept jabbing and jabbing until they wore San Francisco down. The pass rush was relentless. The Ravens inconsistencies on the road may still show up, but if the game is played in M&T Bank Stadium, it's pretty clear this team is one of the best in the NFL.

Matt Vensel, Sports Blitz: A nationally televised audience came for the Harbaughs, and they probably didn't stay for the defense. But the Ravens don't mind. They'll take two wins in a row without Ray Lewis.

Ron Fritz, head of sports: Little brother brought the 9-1 record and feel-good turnaround story into M&T Bank Stadium, but big brother brought the hammer — a dominant  Ravens’ defense. Maybe next time, Jim Harbaugh. You and the 49ers still have a lot to learn. Huge win for the Ravens.

Chris Korman, Ravens editor: So this Ravens team responds when the pressure is highest. Surely that bodes well, right? A defense lacking its leader and facing a team that orchestrated its dramatic turnaround with sheer muscle only went out and gave one of the finest efforts in franchise history. John Harbaugh took away all the things that his brother Jim Harbaugh had been able to do to make Alex Smith so suddenly effective this season, and the Ravens offense achieved good balance.

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