San Francisco 49ers vs. Baltimore Ravens- Thursday, August 7
The Harbaugh brothers Jim and John will face off against one another for the first time since
Super Bowl XLVII with far less on the line when the San Francisco 49ers take on the Baltimore
Ravens this Thursday night in Week 1 of the 2014 NFL preseason. Game time for this inter-
conference clash is set for 7:30 p.m. (ET) and it will be broadcast nationally on the NFL
The 49ers come into this season with the single goal of getting over the hump with a Super
Bowl victory after making three straight trips to the NFC Championship Game. They lost their
first and last trip to the conference title game during this run sandwiched around a tough loss
to the Ravens in their only Super Bowl appearance. This team is already stacked with talent on
defense but the addition of safety Antoine Bethea and cornerback Chris Cook via free agency
along with safety Jimmie Ward in the first round of the draft should only make it better.
The big question on the offensive side of the ball is with fourth-year quarterback Colin
Kaepernick. San Francisco rewarded him with a fat new contract this past offseason, but he will
now have to live up to all the hype by leading this team to a NFL title. Another near-miss in the
playoffs could easily send this team spiraling in the wrong direction.
The Ravens have to be thankful just to get back on the field in this game after enduring an
offseason filled with multiple off-field distractions. This team already took a significant step
backwards with an 8-8 record in 2013 after its 2012 Super Bowl run. Baltimore quarterback Joe
Flacco came nowhere close to living-up to his new contract and its vaunted defense minus Ray
Lewis and Ed Reed fell to the middle of the pack in total yards and points allowed.
Head coach John Harbaugh has a tremendous task on his hands this season to get his team
back into playoff contention and it all starts with a solid performance across the board this
Thursday night. This game actually means much more to the Ravens that it does to San
Francisco considering that Baltimore closed out the 2013 season with back-to-back losses to
New England and Cincinnati by a combined score of 75-24.
BetAnySports has set the betting spread on this game as a PICK with the total line set at 35.
I would lean towards the home team in this matchup, but my official pick is the UNDER on the
total as both defenses remain far ahead of either team’s offense at this point of the preseason.