Everything You Need to Know: Ravens vs. 49ers

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Basics

Kickoff: 1 p.m., M&T Bank Stadium

TV: FOX Channel 45 (Baltimore), Channel 5 (Washington D.C.), FOX crew (Kevin Burkhardt, Charles Davis, Pam Oliver)

Radio: National, ESPN Radio, ESPN crew (Mark Kestecher, Tom Ramsey, Ben Hartsock); Baltimore WBAL (1090AM/101.5FM) and 98 Rock (97.9FM), Ravens crew (Gerry Sandusky, Jarret Johnson, Kirk McEwen)

Jersey color: Purple

Stakes

The Ravens will be trying to win their eighth straight game, which would be the longest regular-season winning streak in franchise history. Leading the AFC North (9-2), the Ravens are competing with the Patriots (10-1) for the top seed in the conference. The 49ers (10-1) have the best record in the NFC and are also trying to secure the No. 1 seed.

History

Baltimore leads the regular-season series, 3-2. The Ravens last met the 49ers in 2015, losing a 25-20 decision in San Francisco. In their lone postseason matchup, the Ravens won their second Super Bowl title in franchise history, defeating San Francisco, 34-31, in Super Bowl XLVII to end cap the 2012 season.

Storylines to Watch

Will the 49ers slow down Baltimore's offense?

The Ravens have the NFL's most explosive attack, scoring at least 40 points in three straight games. San Francisco has the league's top-ranked defense, featuring a physical defensive front that hopes to neutralize MVP candidate Lamar Jackson. Baltimore's offense against San Francisco's defense will be strength vs. strength.

How will this week's travel impact both teams?

Traveling from the West, the 49ers could have difficulty adjusting to the early afternoon start on the East Coast. However, this hasn't been a normal week for the Ravens either. They returned from Los Angeles after a Monday night game, giving them one less day to prepare. Teams as good as San Francisco usually overcome issues like fatigue and jet lag. But if the 49ers start sluggishly, the Ravens have the firepower to take advantage.

Can 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo avoid turnovers?

In a matchup between two NFL heavyweights, turnovers could make the difference. Garoppolo has a passer rating above 100.0 in four of his last five games, but he has also fumbled eight times and has thrown 10 interceptions. Since the addition of opportunistic cornerback Marcus Peters, the Ravens have been a playmaking defense that has forced key turnovers.

Key Matchups

Ravens offensive line vs. 49ers defensive line

San Francisco defensive linemen Arik Armstead and Nick Bosa have combined for 18 sacks this season. It will be up to Ravens tackles Ronnie Stanley and Orlando Brown Jr. to protect Jackson from the pressure of San Francisco's elite edge rushers.

Ravens defense vs. 49ers tight end George Kittle

Kittle is Garopollo's favorite target (52 catches, 670 yards, three touchdowns) and one of the league's best tight ends. For the Ravens to get their defense off the field consistently, they will need to lock down Kittle in key situations.

Ravens wide receivers vs. 49ers secondary

Baltimore wide receivers Marquise Brown and Willie Snead IV are coming off strong performances against the Los Angeles Rams, but 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Jimmie Ward are both excellent in coverage. The Ravens are almost impossible to stop when their wide receivers are making big plays. Sherman and Ward want to make sure that doesn't happen.

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