Lamar Jackson threw two touchdown passes in a span of 18 seconds in the third quarter and the Baltimore Ravens intercepted Brock Purdy four times in a 33-19 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night.
Jackson and the Ravens (12-3) turned a highly anticipated matchup between the top two teams in the NFL into a lopsided win with strong performances on both sides of the ball.
Kyle Hamilton and the defense set the tone early by intercepting Purdy on three of the first four drives of the game for the 49ers (11-4) before Jackson started to take over the game.
He scrambled 30 yards to set up a field goal on the final play of the first half to give the Ravens a 16-12 lead and then helped put the game away early in the third.
After Baltimore forced a punt on the opening drive of the second half, Jackson capped a drive by throwing a 6-yard touchdown pass to Nelson Agholor.
Purdy then was intercepted by Patrick Queen on the next play from scrimmage. Jackson immediately turned that into another score with a 9-yard TD pass to Zay Flowers that made it 30-12.
Jackson threw for 252 yards, ran for 45 more and vaulted past Purdy to become the MVP favorite, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. His only real mishap came when he got called for intentional grounding in the end zone after nearly tripping over the umpire, leading to a safety in the first quarter.
Purdy had his roughest game as a pro, becoming the first 49ers quarterback to throw four interceptions in a game since Colin Kaepernick in 2015, adding a few more near interception and being unable to generate the big plays that made him the league’s most efficient quarterback coming into the game.
Purdy finished 18 for 32 for 255 yards before getting replaced by Sam Darnold after getting a stinger in the fourth quarter.
San Francisco’s other MVP candidate fared far better with running back Christian McCaffrey running for 102 yards and a TD and adding 28 yards receiving. He set a franchise record with his eighth straight game with at least 100 yards from scrimmage.
This marquee matchup marked the second time ever that the teams with sole possession of the best record in each conference played in Week 16 or later.
Both teams remain on top of their conferences. The Niners are in a three-way tie with Philadelphia and Detroit for the best record in the NFC and can still clinch the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye with wins in their final two games.
The Ravens remained a game ahead of Miami for the best record in the AFC and can clinch the No. 1 seed with a win next week against the Dolphins.
Ravens: Hamilton (knee) left the game in the fourth quarter and didn’t return. … G Kevin Zeitler (thigh) and RT Patrick Mekari (head injury) also left in the second half.
49ers: LT Trent Williams (groin) left the game in the third quarter. … T Jaylon Moore (concussion) and LG Aaron Banks (toe) also left with injuries in the second half.
Ravens: Host Miami on Sunday.
49ers: Visit Washington on Sunday.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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