The Associated Press
BALTIMORE–Neither rain, wind nor the San Francisco 49ers’ top-ranked defence could prevent Lamar Jackson from guiding the Baltimore Ravens to their franchise-record eighth straight win.
Jackson weathered miserable conditions to run for 101 yards and Justin Tucker kicked a tiebreaking 49-yard field goal as time expired to give the Ravens a 20-17 victory yesterday in a possible Super Bowl preview.
The combination of driving rain, a stiff wind and San Francisco’s rugged defence was difficult for Jackson to handle.
He completed only 14 of 23 passes for 105 yards and lost a fumble.
Asked afterward to describe the weather, Jackson bowed his head, lifted it slowly and peeked over the podium to declare, “Horrible.”
Certainly, not the kind of weather that benefited the passing game.
“Oh, man. I was throwing passes behind my receivers. It was ticking me off,” Jackson said. “A lot of passes getting away from me. The weather, it messed with me a lot.”
But the double-threat quarterback was solid when it counted. Not only did Jackson fuel the NFL’s top-ranked rushing attack, but he directed a clutch drive that lasted nearly 6 1/2 minutes before Tucker ended it with a kick that tore through the raindrops and between the uprights.
Jackson knew that after he had done his job, Tucker would do his part.
“That golden leg. I got all the faith in him,” Jackson said.
“I’m on the sideline praying, but at the same time I know Tucker can do it.”
Tucker, the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history, now has 15 game-winners over an eight-year career.
Baltimore (10-2) improved to 16-3 with Jackson as a starter and 12-0 when he rushes for at least 70 yards. In addition, Jackson became the first quarterback in NFL history to have four 100-yard rushing games in a season.
In other NFL action yesterday, Washington downed Carolina 29-21; Cincinnati thumped the N.Y. Jets 22-6; Tennessee dispatched Indianapolis 31-17; Tampa Bay dumped Jacksonville 28-11; Miami topped Philadelphia 37-31; Green Bay romped over the N.Y. Giants 31-13; Pittsburgh grounded Cleveland 20-13; the L.A. Rams smoked Arizona 34-7; Kansas City creamed Oakland 40-9; Denver nipped the L.A. Chargers 23-20; and Houston beat New England 28-22.