Sunday’s game between the Ravens and San Francisco 49ers is being billed by many as a potential Super Bowl preview, but safety Earl Thomas III is thinking bigger.
The Ravens and 49ers (10-1) enter Sunday’s matchup coming off resounding victories in front of national television audiences: The Ravens’ routed the Los Angeles Rams on “Monday Night Football,” 45-6, while the 49ers blew out the Green Bay Packers on “Sunday Night Football,” 37-8.
When asked how he feels about Sunday possibly being a sneak-peek into February’s championship game, Thomas responded: “You think the 49ers are going to the Super Bowl? It could be, let’s see. We’ll just go out there and try to play the best football we can possibly do. And when the Super Bowl comes, whoever we play, they’re going to be in trouble.”
Quarterback Lamar Jackson has stated his desire to win a Super Bowl since the night he was selected No. 32 overall in the 2018 draft, and the team has followed his lead, while also tempering expectations by declaring the need to take their season — one with elevated expectations in the midst of a seven-game winning streak — one game at a time.
“[Jackson] brought that vision since he got drafted,” wide receiver Willie Snead IV said. "When you have a guy at the helm that has that vision ... if the guys around him ain’t got that vision, we’ve got the wrong guys in the huddle.
“I feel like everybody in the huddle has that same vision. All 11 guys see the Super Bowl in our near future.”
>> Jackson has been named the Week 12 NFL FedEx Air Player of the Week, the NFL announced Wednesday. It’s his third such honor this season. He was also the first quarterback to be named FedEx Ground Player of the Week in October after he set a career high with 152 rushing yards on 19 attempts and one touchdown in the Ravens’ 23-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
>> Jackson continues to the lead the NFL in Pro Bowl voting, the NFL also announced Wednesday. Jackson has collected 361,096 votes, almost 75,000 more votes than the runner-up, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Fullback Patrick Ricard, cornerback Marcus Peters, offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr., guard Marshal Yanda and kicker Justin Tucker lead their respective position groups in fan votes. After initially leading the NFL in team votes, the Ravens have fallen to second, behind the 49ers.
>> Defensive tackle Michael Pierce (ankle) returned to practice Wednesday and was limited. Pierce practiced in a limited capacity last Thursday but did not practice Friday or Saturday. Tight end Nick Boyle (ankle) and outside linebacker Matthew Judon (ankle) were also limited Wednesday. Three Ravens did not practice: guard Bradley Bozeman (ankle), running back Mark Ingram (non-injury related) and defensive tackle Domata Peko Sr. (knee).