This is the live blog for the Niners’ Week 12 Thursday night game against the Baltimore Ravens — The Harbowl. I will be updating this frequently from my bedroom in the Oakland hills.
4:18 Moran Norris will start in place of Bruce Miller (concussion) at fullback, and Brandon Ayanbadejo will start in place of Ray Lewis (toe) at inside linebacker for the Ravens.
Here are the Niners inactive players: Bruce Miller, Ian Williams, Mike Person, Daniel Kilgore, Scott Tolzien, Brett Swain and Shawntae Spencer.
4:42 According to Eric Branch, Jack and Jackie Harbaugh are attending the game in Baltimore after all. They’ll be in Art Modell’s old office watching on television.
5:09 Since Ray Lewis is inactive, the Ravens will use a 4-3 defense, according to Michael Irvin. So, two critical matchups to monitor are Joe Staley vs. Terrell Suggs and Mike Iupati vs. Haloti Ngata.
5:23 Deion Sanders predicts Ed Reed will make a big play in this game.
5:29 Niners win the toss and defer. David Akers kicks a touchback and the Ravens will start from their 25 yard line because of an offsides penalty.
5:30 On first down Ray Rice runs up the middle and gains three yards before getting tackles by NaVorro Bowman.
5:31 On second down Rice runs up the middle again and picks up three once more.
5:32 On third and three Joe Flacco completes a pass to Anquan Boldin on a slant, who gains 22 yards.
5:32 Next play, Flacco goes back to Boldin on a slant and picks up 16 yards. First down at the SF 31.
5:33 On first down Flacco checks down to Rice who gets tackles by Patrick Willis immediately. Gain of one.
5:33 On second down Rice runs off right guard and picks up 10 yards and a first down.
5:34 On first down Ricky Williams runs up the middle for no gain.
5:34 On second down Flacco checks down to Ricky Williams who gets annihilated by Patrick Willis and the pass falls incomplete.
5:35 On third down Flacco rolls right and throws the ball away before Ahmad Brooks drags him down from behind for the sack.
5:36 Billy Cundiff makes the 40-yard field goal. 3-0 Ravens.
5:39 Ted Ginn Jr. returns the kickoff from the goal line to the SF 29.
5:41 On first down Alex Smith rolls right and completes a short pass to Vernon Davis for a two yard gain.
5:42 On second down Smith completes a quick pass to Crabtree on a curl route. Gain of five. Third and three.
5:42 The Ravens blitz, Smith bolts from the pocket and gets tackled from behind for a one-yard loss. Fourth down.
5:43 Andy Lee punts one 59 yards and Blake Costanzo tackles Lardarius Webb at the Ravens 10 yard line.
5:46 On first down Rice runs up the middle and gets tackled by Isaac Sopoaga after a gain of one.
5:47 On second down Rice runs around the left tackle and picks up seven yards before Willis tackles him.
5:47 On third and two Flacco overthrows Boldin on a short slant. Incomplete. Fourth down.
5:49 Ginn Jr. takes a fair catch at the SF 31 with 6:50 left in the first quarter.
5:49 Ahmad Brooks has been covering Boldin so far. I guess Vic Fangio wants a stronger player covering the big wide receiver.
5:50 On first down Frank Gore runs off left tackle for a gain of four.
5:51 On second down Gore takes a handoff out of a split back pro set – the old Green Bay Packers sweep – and gains four yards off right tackle.
5:52 On third and two Jim Harbaugh takes a timeout.
5:54 Smith completes a pass to Vernon Davis on a short crossing route. Gain of 20 after a long Davis run.
5:55 Next play Ginn Jr. takes an end around to the left for a 9 yard gain.
5:56 On second down and one Gore runs up the middle for three yards and a first down.
5:57 The Ravens bring a blitz and Smith throws a low pass incomplete off his back foot.
5:57 Next play Gore runs up the middle for six yards.
5:58 On third and four the Ravens bring another blitz, this one up the middle, and Ngata sacks Smith for a loss of five.
5:58 David Akers makes a 45 yard field goal. 3-3 with 1:59 left in the first quarter.
6:00 David Akers kicks another touchback, and the Niners get called for another offsides penalty. Apparently C.J. Spillman crossed early.
6:01 On first down Flacco hits Torrey Smith on a quick slant for a 12 yard gain.
6:02 Next play Flacco hits Boldin over the middle for 18 yards.
6:02 Ray Rice runs up the middle for one yard.
6:03 Rice runs up the middle again, this time for three yards.
6:06 On third and six Aldon Smith hits Joe Flacco and he throws the ball away as he goes down. Fourth down.
6:06 Ginn Jr. waves his arm for a fair catch but lets the ball drop and it bounces past a few Ravens into the end zone. Touchback. Niners start at their 20.
6:07 Smith completes a pass to Crabtree on the right sideline for a five yard gain.
6:08 On second and five Smith completes a deep pass to Ginn Jr. who leaps in the air, catches the ball at the highest point, then breaks away from defenders for a touchdown, but the play doesn’t count because of a dubious blocking penalty in the backfield.
6:09 On second and 17 Gore slips in the backfield and loses a yard.
6:10 On third and 18 Terrell Suggs jumps offside. Third and 13 now.
6:11 The Ravens bring three rushers on the right side of the Niners line and Redding beats Rachal to sack Smith.
6:12 The Ravens commit a block in the back on the punt return, so they’ll start their drive at their 35.
6:15 On first down Ray Rice runs right into Justin Smith for no gain.
6:15 On second down Rice cuts back to the left and gets tackled by Parys Haralson after a gain of three.
6:16 On third and seven Flacco steps up and scrambles but Donte Whitner tackles him one yard short of the first down. Huge tackle there by Whitner.
6:17 Ginn Jr. fair catches this punt at the SF 13.
6:19 Adam Snyder is back in the game and he’s limping.
6:19 On first down Kendall Hunter takes a sweep left, breaks two tackles in the backfield and gains nine yards.
6:20 Next play Hunter makes another guy miss in the backfield before picking up two yards and a first down.
6:20 On first down Smith can’t decide what to do in the pocket so he takes a sack for a loss of two.
6:21 Next play Gore takes a draw and gains no yards.
6:22 On third and 12 Delanie Walker false starts.
6:23 On third and 17 Gore runs up the middle and gains three. Fourth down.
6:23 Andy Lee punts this one 54 yards and Webb gets tackled at the Baltimore 35.
6:26 On first down Flacco throws deep to Torrey Smith and Tarell Brown picks the pass off, but the refs call him for pass interference.
6:27 Next play from the SF 15, Rice runs off right tackle for nine yards.
6:28 On second and short Leach runs up the middle for three yards and a first down.
6:28 On first down Rice runs up the middle for three yards.
6:29 On second and goal from the one Rice runs a sweep to the right and C.J. Spillman tackles him in the backfield for a loss of four.
6:30 Next play Flacco tries a quarterback draw but goes nowhere. Justin Smith tackles him after no gain.
6:30 Cundiff makes the 23 yard field goal. 6-3 Ravens. Spillman is the unlikely hero on that goal line stand.
6:33 The kickoff sails past the end zone so the Niners will start this drive at their 20 yard line.
6:34 On first down Gore runs up the middle and gains just two.
6:34 Next play Smith escapes Ngata’s grasp somehow, rolls right and completes a pass to Gore on the sideline for nine yards. Great play by Smith.
6:37 On first down Smith throws a pass at Frank Gore’s feet. Incomplete. One great pass followed by a horrendous one.
6:39 Next play Smith steps up in the pocket and fires a strike to Ginn Jr. over the middle. Gain of 12. First down.
6:39 Smith completes a short pass over the middle to Crabtree, and he picks up nine.
6:40 Next play Smith completes a short out to Vernon Davis for ten. No huddle!
6:40 This time Smith rolls left and throws the ball out of bounds. Third and three.
6:40 Roman calls a Gore draw, and he gets tackled at the line of scrimmage. Not showing a lot of confidence in his quarterback there.
6:42 But they’re going for it on fourth down. Smith rolls right and completes a pass to Delanie Walker on the right sideline.
6:43 On first and ten from the 35 Smith throws deep to Braylon Edwards but the pass is too far towards the middle of the field, and Webb picks the pass off in the end zone.
6:59. Touchback. Niners start at their 20.
7:00 Chilo Rachal is back in the game at right guard. Gore runs off left guard for a gain of five.
7:00 Next play Smith throws a quick screen out to Crabtree who picks up eight yards and a first down.
7:01 Gore takes a pitch, cuts back and slips. Loss of one.
7:02 Shotgun, four wide receivers, and Ngata beats Anthony Davis and sacks Smith. That’s the fifth time Smith’s been sacked.
7:03 On third and 17 Smith sidesteps pressure in the pocket and completes a long throw to Crabtree for 18 yards and a first down.
7:03 Gore runs up the middle for three.
7:04 The Ravens bring a blitz and Smith outruns it, scrambling to the left for an eight yard gain. First down.
7:05 Smith throws a bubble screen to Ginn Jr. who picks up nine yards.
7:05 On second and one Gore runs up the middle for nine yards and another first down.
7:06 Hunter runs up the middle this time, and he picks up just two.
7:07 Suggs sacks Smith this time. Ten yard loss. The Ravens are overloading the right side of the Niners line and dominating.
7:08 On third and 18 Hunter runs for just one yard.
7:08 David Akers makes a 52 yard field goal. 6-6 with 7:35 left in the third quarter.
7:11 The Ravens will start at their 24 yard line.
7:12 Adam Snyder has a pulled hamstring and he will not return to the game.
7:14 On first down Rice takes a draw up the middle for four.
7:14 On second down Flacco throws a pass out of bounds. It was intended for Boldin. Tarell Brown had tight coverage.
7:15 On third down Flacco goes back to Boldin, this time on a quick out. Pick up of seven and a first down.
7:15 Rice runs up the middle and gets three. Justin Smith tackles him in the hole.
7:16 Flacco fires a strike to Boldin, who had beaten Carlos Rogers, but he drops the pass. Third and seven.
7:17 Flacco hits Lee Evans underneath who breaks a Whitner tackle and picks up eight yards and a first down.
7:18 On first down Flacco completes a pass in the backfield to Ricky Williams, who loses a yard.
7:18 On second down Williams runs off right tackle and gets tackled by Bowman after a gain of five.
7:19 On third and six the Niners get no pass rush and Flacco completes a pass to Pita for a gain of 11 and a first down.
7:20 On first down Flacco checks down to Rice who picks up six.
7:20 Next play Flacco completes a pass to the fullback Leach for a 10 yard gain. Another Ravens first down.
7:21 Flacco throws over the head of his receiver downfield. Incomplete.
7:22 Next play the Niners get no pass rush again, and Flacco completes a pass over the middle to the tight end Dixon for 15 yards.
7:22 On first and goal Flacco throws a fade to Torrey Smith and Culliver knocks the ball away. Nice play by Culliver in man coverage.
7:23 Rice takes a draw for no gain. Aldon Smith tackled him from behind.
7:26 On third and goal from the eight Flacco completes a touchdown pass to Pitta, who beat Whitner on the play. 13-6 Ravens.
7:28 Why didn’t Fangio try a blitz on that drive? The four-man rush didn’t work.
7:29 Ginn Jr. returns the kickoff to the 28 yard line.
7:32 On first down Smith completes a quick pass to Crabtree for eight yards.
7:32 Next play Suggs tackles Gore at the line of scrimmage. No gain, plus an illegal shift. Five yard penalty.
7:33 Smith throws a pass to Williams in the flat and he drops it.
7:34 On third and seven Smith gets sacked for the seventh time. The Ravens are bringing overload pressure from the right side and the Niners just can’t pick it up.
7:35 Lee punts it to Webb who returns it to the Baltimore 28.
7:37 On first down Rice runs up the middle for three.
7:38 On second down Rice runs up the middle again and picks up three yards again.
7:38 On third and four Flacco completes a pass to a wide open Torrey Smith for 11 yards and a first down. Tarell Brown expected Smith to go deep on that play and he got burned short.
7:39 On first down Williams runs up the middle for seven yards.
7:40 Next play Williams runs up the middle for two yards.
7:42 On third and one NaVorro Bowman smacks Ricky Williams in the backfield for a loss of one. Huge play. Fourth down.
7:43 Ginn Jr. takes the fair catch at the ten yard line with 9:10 left in the fourth quarter.
7:46 On first down Gore runs off left tackle for just two.
7:46 On second and eight Smith rolls right and throws a changeup on the run to Crabtree. Ed Reed almost intercepts the pass.
7:48 On third and long Suggs sacks Smith. Eighth sack of the night for the Ravens. Second of the night for Suggs.
7:48 Lee punts to Webb, who returns it to the Baltimore 40.
7:51 On first down Rice runs up the middle for four.
7:51 On second down Carlos Rogers tackles Rice after two yards. Third and four.
7:52 Flacco completes a short pass to Rice on an out. He escapes Bowman, turns upfield and picks up 17 yards.
7:53 Williams runs up the middle for 12 yards and another first down.
7:54 Williams up the middle again, this time for three.
7:54 Now Rice up the middle for two. Less than four minutes left. Third and five.
7:55 Aldon Smith tackles Rice in the backfield for a loss of one. Niners take their first timeout. The Ravens are at the SF 20 and there’s 3:20 left in the fourth quarter.
7:57 Cundiff makes a 39 yard field goal. 16-6 Ravens. 3:10 left.
8:00 Ginn Jr. returns the kickoff to the 31.
8:00 Smith in the shotgun, he steps up and Suggs sacks him, wrestles him down by his head. Loss of seven. That’s sack No. 9.
8:01 Smith checks down to Hunter who picks up 13.
8:01 Smith throws over the middle to Crabtree and the pass is almost intercepted because it’s thrown right at Webb. Crabtree knocks it away. Fourth and four.
8:02 Smith completes a quick pass to Braylon Edwards for five yards and a first down.
Two Minute Warning.
8:05 John Harbaugh is challenging the spot of the ball. The Refs confirm their initial call. The first down stands.
8:08 Smith gets pressure, steps up and scrambles for four.
8:08 Smith gets more pressure and intentionally grounds the ball. Mike Iupati and Anthony Davis got beat.
8:09 Smith completes a pass underneath to Vernon Davis for nine. Fourth and 12.
8:11 Smith throws a strike to Ginn Jr. 15 yards down the field on the right side line but Ginn lets the pass bounce off his chest.
Game over. Ravens win 16-6.
Jim says to John at the handshake, “I’m proud of you, too. I love you, too. You’re a great competitor.”