SANTA CLARA -- Some coaches prefer to concentrate on breaking down video from an opponent's most recent games. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman finds plenty of value in the tape from the 49ers game against the Baltimore Ravens in the 2011 season.
In that game the Ravens beat the 49ers 16-6 on Thanksgiving, in Baltimore. The Ravens sacked then-quarterback Alex Smith nine times and held the 49ers to 170 yards net offense.
"It's always great when you can watch your players against their players on film," Roman said Thursday. "You get to see the matchups, how guys match up, and get a feel for you against that opponent as opposed to somebody else."
Of particular note, Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis didn't play that night because of an injury.
Lewis missed numerous games this season because of a triceps injury, but he returned in time for the Ravens' first playoff game this season and led the Ravens with 44 tackles in three victories.
"He's playing at a very high level," Roman said of Lewis. "One of the comments (from one of our coaches) was just how good he looked. As far as the whole defense, whenever you have a player of that magnitude, it's going to have a positive effect."
Roman said the Ravens defense is sound, well-coached and healthy, which presents a stiff challenge for the 49ers offensive line.
The Ravens also are adept at blitzing, which places a premium on how well the 49ers blockers pick up unexpected
"I can guarantee you that it's going to be a great challenge and a great competition there in pass protection because of who they have rushing," Roman said.