BALTIMORE -- In the inaugural Harbaugh Bowl, John earned the bragging rights and a big late-season win.
In the first-ever NFL game featuring brothers as opposing head coaches, John Harbaugh???s Baltimore Ravens earned a hard-fought 16-6 win over younger brother Jim and the previously one-loss San Francisco 49ers.
The Ravens tied a single-game franchise record with nine sacks, quarterback Joe Flacco was an efficient 15-of-23 for 161 yards and tight end Dennis Pitta caught his first career touchdown pass as Baltimore held off San Francisco to improve to 8-3 on the season and a perfect 6-0 at home.
Jim Harbaugh's 49ers fall to 9-2 on the season, and dropped their first game in five trips against East Coast teams this season.
Pitta???s eight-yard touchdown grab early in the fourth quarter capped off a 16-play, 76-yard march in which Flacco hit seven different receivers. The fourth-year quarterback went 4-for-4 on third down on the scoring drive, which snapped a 6-6 tie and gave the Ravens the lead for good.
San Francisco only put up 170 yards of total offense on the ballgame, including just 74 on the ground. Running back Frank Gore had just 39 of those rushing yards on his 14 carries.
Defensive end Cory Redding, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and linebacker Terrell Suggs all posted multiple-sack nights for Baltimore. Suggs led the way with three sacks, giving him a team-high nine on the season.
The Ravens used a 10-play, 55-yard drive to jump on the board on their opening possession. Flacco hit wide receiver Anquan Boldin for a 22-yard gain followed by a 16-yard gain on the subsequent play, setting up Billy Cundiff???s 39-yard field goal which gave the Ravens a 3-0 lead.
San Francisco answered with a 45-yard field goal by David Akers, but then fell behind 6-3 when Cundiff connected on a 23-yarder late in the second quarter.
The field goal battle continued into the second half, as Akers nailed a 52-yard kick to tie the score mid-way through the third quarter. The conversion made Akers a perfect 6-for-6 on field goal attempts over 50 yards this season. Cundiff wrapped up the Ravens' scoring with just over three minutes remaining in the game with another 39-yard field goal.
The Ravens took over from there, scoring 10 unanswered fourth-quarter points to earn the win.
NOTES: First-year linebacker Albert McClellan got the start at inside linebacker with Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe both inactive because of injuries. ??? Jack and Jackie Harbaugh, parents of John and Jim, were on the field prior to the game, but watched the action on TV in a room adjacent to the press box. ??? The 49ers still have not allowed a rushing touchdown all season.
Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.