49ers-Ravens advance scouting report and Periscope preview

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson in an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

Check out my advance scouting report of the 49ers’ upcoming opponent, the Baltimore Ravens.

And check out my Periscope preview of the game:

This article has 75 Comments

  1. Good job, Grant. Steelers gave the blueprint to stopping the Ravens. I just wonder if the Niners have enough ILBs to pull it off.
    .
    Elijah Lee or Mark Nzeocha need to have a good game, for that strategy to work.
    .
    I wonder if they move Tartt up as a LB, and use Marcell Harris, who is good against the run.
    .
    Bosa needs to fake keying on the RB, and at the last second, hit Jackson.

    1. Thanks for the preview Grant, good stuff, with 1 obvious omission. You mentioned the loss of Juszczyk as the main reason the 49ers run game had stalled over the last few weeks, but you made no mention of Kittle’s injury as being equally as big of a factor in the run game.

      Other than that, I really like what you’re serving, and I’m not talking about the turkey and stuffing.

      Bravo!

        1. Hey JIM HARBAUGH …. say hello to that MONKEY on your back!

          Man oh man, different game, but the same old story for Harbaugh, and his Michigan Wolverines! Truth be told ….. the Buckeyes OWN Jim Harbaugh! SMH!

    2. I think any complete assessment of our Niners should not leave out the key injuries this team has had. We lost one of the better edge rushers in Ford and one of the best LB’s. We have a great front 4 but the secondary is adequate and not better. The offense lacks a dominant number one. OL is only mediocre. All in all Shanny and Saleh have adjusted well. I think we take one of the 2 remaining games.

  2. Great job Grant……this should be a good one…….Ravens are scary…..

    LJackson is a running back QB…he may not last in the nfl…..most don’t..

    However this IS a Harbaugh team..tough D run run run……rubber is meeting the road…..

  3. For all the Robert Saleh hype, this is the game to determine if he is indeed a head coach in the NFL.
    The Niners don’t have to win, but if his defense can shut down Jackson, then he deserves to be a NFL head coach next year.
    Otherwise I’m sticking to my assessment of him as a product of talent, nothing more.

    1. Prime you’re funny. Saleh basically has the exact same DL, secondary and LB’s as last year. The only difference is Ford and Bosa. What a difference those two make right? He also has different DB and DL coaches. Pretty much the same defensive talent save for two players.

      1. Those are 2 major pieces… also the Secondary was a revolving door with injuries. They didn’t have the same safety combo for more than 2 games in a row until the final few weeks of the season.

        1. Shoup you’re right about the injuries and about how big a difference Bosa and Ford have made. I think Jeff Hafley was awful, having guys play out of position etc. His guys weren’t prepared well beyond the injuries. Joe Woods has done a much better job IMO. I don’t think it’s just talent that make Saleh good. It surely helps.

            1. Monty 6.5 sacks makes him a difference maker for the small amount of snaps. He is injured unfortunately. He will probably not be on the team next year and they’ll find another edge player.

      2. Wilson, you’re funny. Those two players have made the biggest difference. Plus a secondary working together for a second straight year.
        This is the week where coaching tells all.

        1. Two players which I noted made a difference. Don’t dismiss the rest of the talent already on the roster or the bad coaching from Hafley last year. So his whole coacher career hinges on one game? It’s not that dramatic.

          1. It sure is when no one including Bill Belichick could not figure the Ravens offense out.
            If Saleh, talent and all can stop them, he will prove his merit as a coach.

            And, it is dramatic when this match up makes the winner the best in the NFL.

              1. Yes, anything to motivate the team.
                .
                Walsh was a master of creating perceived slights as locker room fodder to give his team an edge.

            1. He can prove his merit and not beat the Ravens. The Patriots lost the game on offense not defense. A key fumble by Edelman lost the game. It was 20-24 with them driving to score. Yes the game is dramatic but the out come doesn’t determine a coach’s entire worth or merit. That’s overly dramatic. I guess Pete Carroll lost his merit too?

              1. I think you are missing the point.
                Saleh has a chance to show the NFL that he can put together a game plan to stop the best player and offense in the NFL right now.

                He could not stop the best player in the NFL a couple weeks ago in Wilson. But now he has a chance to stop Jackson by either blitzing him, play coverage or a combination of both throughout the game to limit him.
                This game tomorrow isn’t about which team has the better roster talent wise. It’s about who can out “chess” the other . If Saleh can do that, he’s proven he is smart enough to move on to a head coach position. So of course the outcome of his game plan will determine his coaching merit.

              2. Roman’s offense is so simple and predictable that if Saleh can’t shut it down with the players, and coaching staff at his disposal, he’s not worthy to be talked about as a head coaching candidate. That’s predicated on the players executing the game plan of course….

              3. It’s the improvisation that is concerning with Jackson.
                Saleh never accounted for Wilson late in the game against Seattle.
                So with Jackson’s athleticism and ability to create on his own, how will Saleh account for him?
                Spy, run blitz, alter their entire wide 9 scheme for him?
                This is why whatever game plan he comes up, will be a true indication of how good a coach this guy is.

              4. Shut down the middle with Jones by dominating their center, and you limit Jackson’s deception, forcing him to hold the ball; while playing press man/zone coverage on the backend. Hit Jackson repeatedly. First defender holds him up so your teammates can brutalize him. That would be the theme of my gameplan, and the end of Action’s improv….

              5. I like the idea Razor. Hitting him early in the game is the X factor.If he gets into a rhythm early it will cause problems because now that will open up play action for them.
                Baltimore’s WR’s don’t scare me but their heavy set packages and tight ends do.

                As for our offense, if Breida plays and plays like he can by getting to the edge it will be huge.
                I’m picking the Niners in a nail biter and a classic defensive battle.

                49ers: 16
                Ravens:14

              6. Nope not missing the point disagreeing with your premise that one game sets a career. The Seattle game was lost by the offense not Saleh. Had JG not thrown those picks we would have won. Saleh has already proven he’s a good coach.

              7. Yes he is a good coach when he has talent. We have seen what kind of coach he is without talent. Now we need to see him scheme up a plan to stop a really good triple threat QB in a big time game meaning a lot.
                This will determine if he is head coach material.

    1. Personally, I like Grant’s analysis better.
      .
      The other guy kept playing the same plays over and over, and talked in a soft monotone.

      1. It’s debatable as to who’s film study is more impressive, but Grant surely wins any tie-breaker thanks to the suit and tie.

        To paraphrase ZZ Top – Everybody’s crazy for a sharp dressed man!

          1. I wrote “to ‘paraphrase’ ZZ Top” dude, it’s called a play on words.

            Do you even understand what the term “paraphrase” means? Geesh!

            1. I love RB D’Andre Swift, and he’d be a perfect fit for Kyle’s offense, and Jonathan Taylor is going to be a fantastic NFL RB, but there’s no doubt in my mind that JK Dobbins is the best college RB in the country, bar none!

    1. If you are looking to run blitz does the Niners remain in the wide 9 or do they go into a more traditional 4 man front? Also do you slow the veracity of the pass rush to help with defending the run game?

      1. I think we could stay in that wide 9, and blitz the Law and/or Warner in the A gaps. That would force Action Jackson outside right into the arms of Bosa or Armstead. It would also stuff their inside running plays, as long as Jones can abuse their center….

        1. I think they will mix it up. Use wide 9 and some tighter fronts. End of the day, the key will be to keep contain on the edge and clog up the middle. I expect we will see a lot of DJ Jones flanked by Buckner and Armstead, in whatever alignments they use.

  4. Thoughts on Sunday’s game…

    As of today, weather will remain a factor–95%+ chance of rain mid-morning through kickoff in Baltimore, tapering off slowly through early evening. Personally, I don’t see 1,000+ yards of offense and 90+ points combined.

    I trust Saleh will have the defense positioned–scheme wise to provide the best possible opportunity to keep Jackson in some form of check. I believe 9er defenders will play well overall in spite of a few hiccups. Note: I do understand that ‘me having trust’ has zero value. Shanahan, being the ‘glorified OC’ that he is, understands offenses–and he’ll have a very good sense for what the Ravens are up to. He and Saleh working together is a plus.

    I trust Shanahan will scheme well on offense–he’s rather good at that, plus making effective adjustments in a timely way. Will come down to player execution, which should be more solid than not. Again, me having trust doesn’t matter a whit.

    As usual, special teams need to perform well.

    Yeah, it’s a stiff challenge for the 9ers. Too, it’s a stiff challenge for the Ravens.

    1. An important tactical question remains unanswered: should Niners receivers playing in the rain immediately drop to their knees as soon as they catch the ball? Inquiring minds want to know…

  5. Game of the year so far, in my opinion. Not just for our Niners, but for the NFL as a whole. Should be fun to watch. Stupid it wasn’t flexed to Sunday night. The whole country wants to see this game.

    I think it will come down to who has the most time of possession. If the Niners can keep the Ravens offense off the field by running the ball and eating the clock, I think it’ll force the Ravens out of their game plan. Turn them into a pass-first offense, which pits them against the strength of our defense (pass rush)…and in a bad weather game, could mean disaster for the Ravens.

    Just hope we don’t have a slow start, especially given the east coast early game. If so, it could be us In that situation.

    No matter what, I’m just so stoked to be talking about how meaningful a late season game is for our team instead of talking about who we should draft in April! Great to see them exceeding everyone’s expectations and taking the league by storm!

    GO NINERS!!!

    1. The first key to the game is to come out All Guns Blazing. Take the ball and drive it down for 7 points. Shut them down defensively, and give the ball to the offense. That would play right into the 49ers hands, and the Ravens would be nevermore….

  6. THIS : I think it will come down to who has the most time of possession. If the Niners can keep the Ravens offense off the field by running the ball and eating the clock,

  7. If Staley plays, we’ll lose. If Brunskill plays we will win!
    We need young, quick, athletic players to stop this offense.
    Stakey is struggling.

  8. One more time. The way to beat the Ravens is, set the edge and keep them between the tackles. Load the box and put Tartt at the line of scrimmage. Use a controlled pass rush keeping Jackson in the pocket and Spy him with Warner. To put it succinctly make Jackson beat you with his arm. Oh and run the football, run the football and then run it some more.

    1. This is the exact way to beat them. Nothing fancy. Good, sound, fundamental football. The defensive ends have to stay home. The moment the become undisciplined, Lamar will make them pay. And no one Should think they are fast enough to run directly At Lamar and catch him.

    2. Agreed, Coach—I dont think Jackson can beat you-yet-with 4 qtrs of the pass. But personally, i wouldn’t downplay the pass, because logically it would be the thing you would not expect much of in this weather–therefore, do it…..as long as it isn’t a downpour or too windy. Our quick rout-runners will have the edge in this weather.
      Thats what i’m hoping for, anyway….something of a 9ers/Bears, 1988.

    3. For the most part I agree but M. Brown can really make you pay on the backend. Gotta be careful with this game plan. I’d prefer to bring pressure and keep our safties deep.

  9. Won’t be surprised if Goodwin is inactive despite Pettis being out. Neither are mudders. OTOH, Bourne should see plenty of snaps.

  10. The Niners need to do more triple option and misdirection plays. JG should have safety valves to burn the blitz.I hope Breida is able to play. Goodwin and Pettis should be deactivated, so others can contribute.
    .
    Richie James and Sanders should be utilized on some flea flicker plays.

  11. One key matchup will be DJ Jones against Patrick Mekari at center.
    .
    Another will be Bosa against Orlando Brown, if Bosa plays LDE instead of RDE, where he would go against Ronnie Stanley.
    .
    Earl Thomas is predicting the SB, so I hope the Niners prove him wrong, this next game.

  12. From Barrows: “Bosa, meanwhile, said the 49ers haven’t played the zone read very well this season but that they are doing “something a little different” this week in preparation for Jackson.
    “We’ve got a pretty good plan this week,” he said.”
    More cover 2?
    I like Jones’ chances against the Ravens’ center who didn’t even play that position at Cal.

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