BALTIMORE -- From start to finish, the 49ers couldn't stop the Thanksgiving-night parade of Baltimore Ravens pass rushers.

As a result, the 49ers' eight-game win streak came to a crashing halt with a 16-6 loss before 71,345 at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens sacked quarterback Alex Smith nine times, matching single-game records for both franchises since sacks became an official league statistic in 1982.

"We definitely expected (pressure), knowing the type of defense they were, especially at home," Smith said. "They're aggressive and come after you."

The 49ers (9-2) had allowed just seven sacks in their previous six games combined. The only other times they've yielded nine: In 1988 against the Los Angeles Rams and 1998 at Green Bay.

The Ravens' final assault: Dumping a water cooler on coach John Harbaugh in the final seconds. It was a reward for winning the NFL's first-ever game pitting brothers as head coaches.

"I congratulated him and told him I love him," said Jim Harbaugh, who shook his brother's hand and hugged him at midfield before they retreated to their first-place teams' locker rooms.

The 49ers saw their NFC West lead trimmed to 41/2 games, and in terms of playoff position, a nonconference loss isn't too punishing.

The AFC North-leading Ravens (8-3) remained undefeated in six home games, and they did so without iconic linebacker Ray Lewis, who sat out with a toe injury.


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"We understand that up front, we needed to have a huge game, just because we are missing Ray Lewis," said nose tackle Haloti Ngata, who had two sacks.

The 49ers' once-steady offensive line found itself missing right guard Adam Snyder, who strained his left hamstring and didn't play after halftime. With or without him, the 49ers were overwhelmed by the fiercest pass rush they've seen all season.

"You don't want to see your quarterback get hit, and he got hit, and that's going to affect the outcome," center Jonathan Goodwin said.

In contrast, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco didn't get sacked once.

"This, in the long run, is going to benefit us," 49ers left tackle Joe Staley said. "It'll make us tougher, focused and dialed in. It showed us if we're not on, we can get beat by anybody."

The 49ers didn't score a touchdown for the first game this season, and their 170 yards of offense were their smallest output.

Smith had a 75-yard touchdown pass to Ted Ginn nullified by a chop-block penalty on Frank Gore. Jim Harbaugh said it was a "good call" but wished Chilo Rachal, Snyder's replacement, hadn't put his hands on safety Bernard Pollard after Gore's otherwise perfect blitz pickup.

"The mood in the locker room, every guy in there, no one is OK with it," Smith said of the 49ers' first loss since a Sept. 18 overtime decision against Dallas. "Not that it was OK in the past, but it was easier to take (then). Every guy in the locker room invests so much, and that's why we're winning."

Unlike their first three road games -- all in the Eastern time zone -- the 49ers couldn't muster a fourth-quarter comeback win.

On the first snap of that final quarter, Flacco threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Dennis Pitta on third-and-goal, snapping a 6-6 tie. The backup tight end cut inside cornerback Chris Culliver and in front of safety Donte Whitner.

Billy Cundiff's third field goal of the night, a 39-yard attempt, put the 49ers in a 16-6 hole.

Smith got sacked on the ensuing series' first snap, stifling the 49ers' comeback ambitions. It was the Ravens' final sack of the night, and it came from Terrell Suggs, his third of the game.

"We're all going to have to bear the responsibility," Harbaugh said of the sacks.

Goodwin said he felt the offensive line was prepared for the Ravens, adding: "They didn't do anything that completely fooled us."

Further dooming the 49ers offense was Smith's fifth interception this season and third in three games. Thursday's came on a 35-yard toss to Braylon Edwards in the end zone that Lardarius Webb intercepted. Smith blamed it on a "miscommunication" with Edwards switching to an outside route; Edwards declined to talk to reporters until Monday.

The 49ers pulled even at 6-6 when David Akers converted a 52-yard field goal, making him 6-for-6 this season on attempts beyond 50 yards. That scoring drive opened the second half.

"We were on a win streak, and it was good," linebacker Patrick Willis said. "Tonight, I don't see it as anything bad. We lost. But it's not detrimental to the team. It breaks us down to build us stronger down the road.

"We're a very good football team."

So are the sack-minded Ravens.