NFL highlights on Christmas Day: Ravens break Brock Purdy

Quarterback Lamar Jackson (#8) of the Baltimore Ravens runs with the ball in the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, December 25, 2023. /CFP

Quarterback Lamar Jackson (#8) of the Baltimore Ravens runs with the ball in the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, December 25, 2023. /CFP

The Baltimore Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers 33-19 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on Monday, becoming the first team with 12 wins during the 2023 National Football League (NFL) regular season.

The two teams led the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC) with the same record of 11-3 before the game. Ravens’ quarterback (QB) Lamar Jackson, his 49ers counterpart Brock Purdy and running back Christian McCaffrey are all candidates for this season’s Most Valuable Player (MVP).

Quarterback Lamar Jackson (#8) of the Baltimore Ravens passes in the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, December 25, 2023. /CFP

Quarterback Lamar Jackson (#8) of the Baltimore Ravens passes in the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, December 25, 2023. /CFP

Quarterback Lamar Jackson (#8) of the Baltimore Ravens passes in the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, December 25, 2023. /CFP

Monday’s win should give Jackson an edge in the MVP race. He completed 23 of his 35 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. He also rushed for a team-leading 45 yards with seven carries, including a 30-yard run on a 3rd & 16 before the end of the second quarter. That play earned the Ravens a first down and took them close enough for kicker Justin Tucker to make a 28-yard field goal and extend their lead from one (13-12) to four points (16-12).

From 5:58 in the first period to 2:39 in the third quarter, Jackson ran seven straight scoring drives for the Ravens in four field goals and three touchdowns, helping his side wipe an early five-point (5-0) quickly and lead 33-12 when there was only one period to go. Of course, he allowed the two-point safety at the beginning of the first quarter, but to be fair, he tripped over a referee during that play.

Quarterback Brock Purdy (R) of the San Francisco 49ers is sacked by cornerback Marlon Humphrey of the Baltimore Ravens in the game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, December 25, 2023. /CFP

Quarterback Brock Purdy (R) of the San Francisco 49ers is sacked by cornerback Marlon Humphrey of the Baltimore Ravens in the game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, December 25, 2023. /CFP

Quarterback Brock Purdy (R) of the San Francisco 49ers is sacked by cornerback Marlon Humphrey of the Baltimore Ravens in the game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, December 25, 2023. /CFP

Compared with Jackson, Purdy had a nightmare at home in Monday’s game. He completed 18 of his 32 passes for 255 yards, no touchdowns and four interceptions, including two back-to-back in the first and the second periods. Sam Darnold replaced him in the middle of a drive on a 2nd & 13 in the fourth quarter. He had two incomplete passes, was sacked twice and suffered an injury during that drive.

Taking over from Purdy, Darnold completed eight of his 14 passes for 81 yards and one touchdown with one interception. McCaffrey was the best-performing 49ers in Monday’s game, with 103 rushing and 28 receiving yards plus one touchdown, but he didn’t receive the ball much in the second half.

Other games on Monday (away teams come first):

Las Vegas Raiders 20-14 Kansas City Chiefs

New York Giants 25-33 Philadelphia Eagles

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