- Special Sections
- Public Notices
BALTIMORE (AP) — The Harbaugh brothers met in the middle of the field, hugged, expressed their love for each other and headed off in opposite directions.
After their much-anticipated, oft-analyzed and historic confrontation was over, John and Jim Harbaugh expressed gratitude over having the opportunity to face each other on Thanksgiving.
John was just little bit happier, of course, because his Baltimore Ravens beat Jim’s San Francisco 49ers 16-6 Thursday night.
“I felt really humble, just thankful,” John said. “Running across the field to my brother — he’s my best friend, along with Mom and Dad and my wife. You don’t put yourself in many other coaches’ shoes, but you can put yourself in your brother’s shoes. I’m really proud of him.”
Although the 49ers (9-2) had their eight-game winning streak end, Jim Harbaugh was thankful for the experience of coaching in the first NFL game with two brothers on opposite sidelines as head coaches.
“I was proud to be part of it, proud to be part of the family,” Jim said. “I was thankful on Thanksgiving. It was a wonderful thing.”
Asked what he said to John, he replied, “I congratulated him and told him I loved him.”
John, 49, and Jim, 47, grew up dueling each other in all sorts of games. This, however, was the first time their sibling rivalry was displayed on a national stage.
During the final minute, John got a Gatorade bath from his players — twice. After the game ended, the brothers hugged at midfield.
“There’s a saying that says, ‘As iron sharpens iron, so does one man sharpen another,’” Jim said. “And I have to say my brother John is the sharpest iron I’ve ever encountered in my life.”
The Ravens (8-3) sacked 49ers quarterback Alex Smith nine times, tying a franchise record, despite playing without middle linebacker Ray Lewis, the team’s leading tackler and spiritual leader. Lewis was inactive for a second straight game with a foot injury.
Smith completed 15 of 24 passes for 140 yards and an interception, and San Francisco was held without a touchdown for the first time this season. Smith never could get into a rhythm against an aggressive defense that rarely let him set up in the pocket.