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.