BALTIMORE -- Brothers Jim and John Harbaugh's teams staged an epic struggle on Thanksgiving.John's Baltimore Ravens outlasted Jim's 49ers for a grind-it-out 16-6 victory in the first game in NFL history that pitted brothers as head coaches.Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco found tight end Dennis Pitta in the end zone on an 8-yard scoring pass against 49ers safety Donte Whitner early in the fourth quarter to snap a 6-6 tie.The 49ers (9-2) will not be able to clinch the NFC West this week, but they remain in firm command of the division. The 49ers will enter next week's game with at least a one-game lead over the New Orleans Saints (7-3) for a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs.
The Green Bay Packers (11-0) now have a two-game lead over the 49ers for home-field advantage.--The 49ers' pass protection was not good, and quarterback Alex Smith did not get rid of the ball on time. He was sacked a season-high nine times, a franchise record for Baltimore, and forced into an intentional grounding.--Smith and Ted Ginn hooked up on an apparent 75-yard touchdown pass early in the second quarter, but the play came back due to a chop block called on running back Frank Gore. In reality, Gore did nothing wrong as he performed a cut block on blitzing safety Bernard Pollard. But guard Chilo Rachal got his hands on Pollard after Gore cut him.--That wasn't the only controversial call that nullified a big 49ers play. Cornerback Tarell Brown was called for a 50-yard pass interference penalty while covering a deep pass to Ravens receiver Torrey Smith. Instead of Brown's interception, the Ravens had a first down at the 49ers' 15-yard line.--Receiver Braylon Edwards was a non-factor; he hauled in his lone catch on a fourth-down pass on the 49ers' final drive, his first catch in the past two weeks. One of Smith's attempts to him late in the first half was intercepted, as Edwards failed to prevent Lardarius Webb's interception in the end zone.--The 49ers' run defense was on display after that sequence. The Ravens had a first-and-goal situation at the 4. Ray Rice gained 3 yards on first down. But as part of the 49ers' goal-line defense, defensive back C.J. Spillman dropped Rice for a 4-yard losss. On third down, Aldon Smith and Justin Smith stopped quarterback Joe Flacco for no gain. The Ravens settled for Billy Cundiff's 23-yard field goal.--Injury report: Rachal saw a lot of playing time at right guard as starter Adam Snyder had to leave the game with a hamstring injury. Rachal struggled against the Ravens' front. Veteran Moran Norris took over as the 49ers' fullback with Bruce Miller inactive with a concussion.--The Ravens' suffocating defensive effort came without linebacker Ray Lewis on the field. He was inactive for the second straight game with a toe injury.
First-year coach Kyle Shanahan is close to completing his 49ers coaching staff.
Shanahan will handle the duties of the offensive coordinator, the position he held with Houston, Washington and Atlanta over the past nine NFL seasons.
Robert Saleh is the 49ers' new defensive coordinator, while Richard Hightower has been hired as the special-teams coordiator.
Here's a look at the 49ers' coaching staffs under Shanahan and last season under Chip Kelly:
2017 49ERS COACHING STAFF
Position: Coach (2016 job)
Head coach: Kyle Shanahan (Falcons, offensive coordinator)
Defensive coordinator: Robert Saleh (Jaguars, linebackers coach)
Special teams coordinator: Richard Hightower (Bears, assistant special teams)
Assistant head coach/tight ends: Jon Embree (Buccaneers, tight ends)
Run game specialist: Mike McDaniel (Falcons, offensive assistant)
Quarterbacks: Rich Scangarello (Wagner, offensive coordinator)
Running backs: Bobby Turner (Falcons, running backs)
Wide receivers: Mike LaFleur (Falcons, offensive assistant)
Offensive line: Vacant
Offensive assistant: T.C. McCartney (LSU, offensive assistant)
Senior defensive assistant: Jason Tarver (49ers, outside linebackers)
Defensive line: Jeff Zgonina (N.Y. Giants, assistant defensive line)
Linebackers: Johnny Holland (Browns, inside linebackers)
Defensive backs: Jeff Hafley (49ers, defensive backs)
Offensive quality control: Taylor Embree (Chiefs, defensive assistant)
Defensive quality control: Bobby Slowik
Head strength and conditioning: Ray Wright
* * *
2016 49ERS COACHING STAFF
Position: Coach (current status)
Head coach: Chip Kelly
Offensive coordinator: Curtis Modkins (Bears, running backs)
Defensive coordinator: Jim O’Neil
Special teams coordinator: Derius Swinton
Quarterbacks: Ryan Day (Ohio State, quarterbacks)
Running backs: Tom Rathman
Wide receivers: Bob Bicknell
Tight ends: Jeff Nixon (Baylor, co-offensive coordinator/running backs)
Offensive line: Pat Flaherty (Jaguars, offensive line)
Assistant offensive line: Eric Wolford (South Carolina, offensive line)
Defensive line: Jerry Azzinaro (Cal, defensive line)
Assistant defensive line: Vince Oghobaase
Outside linebackers: Jason Tarver (49ers, senior defensive assistant)
Inside linebacker: Joe Bowden
Defensive backs: Jeff Hafley (49ers, defensive backs)
Assistant defensive backs: Roy Anderson (Bears, assistant secondary)
Assistant special teams: Michael Clay
Offensive quality control: Mick Lombardi (Jets, offensive assistant/assistant QBs coach)
Defensive quality control: Tem Lukabu
Senior analyst: Dana Bible
Director of human performance: Mark Uyeyama
John Benton, who coached on the same staff during Kyle Shanahan’s four seasons with the Houston Texans, has reportedly received permission from the Denver Broncos to interview with the 49ers.
The Broncos hired Benton on Jan. 15 to work as the team’s assistant offensive line coach under line coach Jeff Davidson.
But Denver coach Vance Joseph and general manager John Elway provided Benton permission to interview with the 49ers, Denver’s 9News reported. The Sacramento Bee was first to report the 49ers were looking at Benton.
The offensive line coach is the last major position that remains vacant on Shanahan’s staff.
Benton worked last season as Jacksonville’s assistant offensive line coach. He worked the previous 13 seasons as offensive line coach with the St. Louis Rams (2003-05), Houston (2006-2013) and Miami (2014-15).
Shanahan’s first NFL coaching job was with Houston in 2006, when he coached wide receivers. Shanahan became the quarterbacks coach with the Texans in 2007 before spending the next two seasons as offensive coordinator under then-coach Gary Kubiak.
The 49ers announced nine additions to the coaching staff on Friday.
Also, the 49ers are expected to hire Daniel Bullocks as assistant defensive backs coach, according to The Sporting News. Bullocks worked in the same role with the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. The Jaguars' linebackers coach last season, Robert Saleh, is the 49ers' new defensive coodinator. Bullocks appeared in 31 games in three NFL seasons with the Detroit Lions in 2006 and '08.