Lamar Jackson, Ravens pull away from 49ers in matchup of top seeds

By Sports Desk December 26, 2023

Baltimore’s defense had five interceptions and four sacks, Lamar Jackson had another strong game to help his MVP candidacy and the Ravens beat the San Francisco 49ers 33-19 in a Christmas Days showdown between conference leaders.

Brock Purdy, who entered the game as an MVP candidate, had the worst game of his career, throwing four interceptions and no touchdowns before he was replaced by Sam Darnold after the game was out of hand.

Kyle Hamilton intercepted two of Purdy’s passes, while Marlon Humphrey, Patrick Queen and Marcus Williams also came up with picks.

Baltimore led just 16-12 at halftime but outscored the 49ers 17-0 in the third quarter to put the game out of reach.

Jackson threw for 252 yards and two touchdowns, and the dual-threat quarterback was the Ravens’ leading rusher with 45 yards as the Ravens (12-3) extended their winning streak to five games.

Christian McCaffrey was the lone bright spot for the 49ers, rushing for 103 yards and a touchdown and adding six catches for 28 yards. He tied the Miami Dolphins’ Raheem Mostert for the NFL lead with 21 total touchdowns this season in the losing effort.

The loss dropped the 49ers (11-4) into a tie with the Detroit Lions and the Philadelphia Eagles for the best record in the NFC with two weeks to play in the regular season.


Hurts, Swift help Eagles end 3-game skid

Jalen Hurts set a single-season quarterback record by scoring his 15th rushing touchdown and added 300 yards through the air as the Philadelphia Eagles rediscovered their early-season form with a 33-25 win over the New York Giants.

Hurts scored on a “tush push” sneak play in the first quarter and added a second-quarter passing touchdown to help the Eagles end a three-game losing streak and keep their hopes of an NFC East title alive.

D’Andre Swift had 92 of Philadelphia’s 170 rushing yards and scored from five yards out in his best performance since Week 3.

The Eagles led 20-3 at halftime, and the Giants benched former Cinderella story quarterback Tommy DeVito at the break for Tyrod Taylor. DeVito was 9 of 16 for 55 yards.

A 7-yard Saquon Barkley touchdown run and Adoree’ Jackson’s 76-yard interception return – and subsequent 2-point conversion – pulled the Giants to 20-18 at the end of the third.

New York never led, however, as Philadelphia rebounded with a 13-point fourth quarter.

The Eagles (11-4) stayed a full game ahead of Dallas in the NFC East after the Cowboys’ 22-20 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Saturday.


Raiders fluster Mahomes as Chiefs’ slump continues

Las Vegas scored defensive touchdowns on consecutive plays from scrimmage, Zamir White rushed for a career high 145 yards and the Raiders beat the slumping Kansas City Chiefs 20-14.

The Chiefs led 7-3 with five minutes remaining in the first half before Bilal Nichols returned an Isiah Pacheco fumble eight yards for a touchdown.

After the ensuing kickoff, Patrick Mahomes’ first-down pass was intercepted by Jack Jones and returned 33 for another score, giving the Raiders a 17-7 halftime lead.

Mahomes has struggled this month, going 1-3 in December and throwing five touchdowns to five interceptions.

Mahomes’ only touchdown of the day came on a 7-yard pass to Justin Watson with 2:42 remaining, but the Chiefs never got the ball back as White gained 43 and 15 yards on consecutive carries to clinch the game for Las Vegas.

The Raiders (7-8) snapped a six-game losing streak to the Chiefs (9-6), who failed to clinch an eighth consecutive AFC West title.

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