49ers' Kyle Shanahan OK with rain if it helps slow down Lamar Jackson

Josh Schrock
NBC Sports BayArea

The marquee matchup of Week 13 in the NFL could get a little sloppy when the 10-1 49ers travel to Baltimore to face the 9-2 Ravens in what is expected to have 100 percent chance of rain

The 49ers have played a game in a monsoon already, defeating Washington 9-0 in a Week 7 mud bowl at FedEx Field. 

No matter what the weather is Sunday, the Ravens are going to stick to their game plan. Baltimore owns the NFL's No. 1 ranked rushing attack, spearheaded by sensational quarterback Lamar Jackson and his 7.1 yards per carry. 

Normally coaches wouldn't hope for soggy field conditions, but in the case of facing an electrifying talent like Jackson, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan wouldn't mind another mud bowl.

"We'll see how it is on Sunday, and how that could affect both teams, but I usually don't like [the rain] or want it as much because I feel we're a team that's predicated on speed, and I think rain always slows you down a little bit," Shanahan said on KNBR's "Tolbert, Krueger and Brooks." "I don't mind too much their quarterback (Lamar Jackson) slowing down, though.

"So I don't exactly know how that will affect [us]. I know they're going to run the ball, whether it's a monsoon or whether it's 90 degrees out and not raining at all. I don't think it's going to change what they do, but you've got to sit there, and watch, and see if it makes them better or worse. Then you've got to adjust accordingly."

The Ravens have been a runaway freight train over their last seven games, averaging just under 36 points per game since their Week 4 loss to the Browns. The 49ers, meanwhile, have been the most dominant team in the NFL this season, led by an efficient rushing attack and the best pass rush in the league.

Sunday's game in Baltimore is what many expect to be a Super Bowl preview. The Niners will have to run the gauntlet to get out of the NFC, but the Ravens' path appears a little easier. With the AFC having a down year, it feels like only the Patriots stand in the way of the Ravens' path to Miami, and Jackson and Co. already have shown they can go toe-to-toe with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick, beating the Pats 37-20 in Week 9. Of course, winning in Foxboro in January is an entirely different animal.

As good as the Ravens have been of late, their defense still is susceptible to the big play if you can get them at the right time, which is what the Browns did during their Week 4 win. Shanahan knows the game Sunday will come down to the 49ers' ability to make the Ravens pay when they gamble on defense.

"They do a lot of risky stuff on defense," Shanahan said. "They'll all-out blitz you at any single time, which can get you in some really bad plays, but people who do that are also going to get you in some really good opportunities. But you're not going to get a ton of them, so when you do, you need to score. It can't just be a first down. If you do that, then you've got a chance for it to look real good.

"You've got guys like Cleveland who I think put close to 50 (40, actually) up on them, and that was a pretty good game, but it wasn't just because it was a well-oiled machine all game. It's because they caught them in a few good looks, and the guys made some plays."

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The 49ers have passed just about every test they've faced this season, but slowing down Jackson is an entirely different task than stopping Aaron Rodgers or bottling up Kyler Murray.

Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh's unit surely is prepared to face the generational talent, but a little rain certainly might help.

49ers' Kyle Shanahan OK with rain if it helps slow down Lamar Jackson originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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