The inaugural "Harbowl" was a national smash, the NFL reported, as 10.7 million viewers tuned in to make it the most-watched program in the eight-year history of the NFL Network.
Those watching the 49ers for the first time this season Thursday night probably didn't come away enamored by the team's offensive-line performance against the Baltimore Ravens.
On Friday, though, head coach Jim Harbaugh spread the blame for nine sacks allowed by the 49ers, which matched the most given up by San Francisco in a game since the statistic started being recorded in 1982.
"Probably three of them we got beat on the protection call, rolled the dice with a protection and (the Ravens) had a better blitz than what we had called in the protection," Harbaugh said on a conference call Friday afternoon.
"(There were) three other times where, physically, we got beat," he said. "It wasn't any one player; each probably took a turn there. And maybe two other ones where (quarterback) Alex (Smith) could've got the ball out quicker."
It all added up to Smith hitting the turf repeatedly in the 49ers' 16-6 loss to the Ravens and John Harbaugh, who took home the bragging rights in the NFL's first meeting of head-coaching brothers.
Baltimore's gaudy sack total which matched its franchise record didn't include "three or four more (plays) where Alex was slippery as heck" and escaped pressure, Jim Harbaugh said. Several times, Smith was flushed from the pocket as receivers were getting open downfield, Harbaugh said.
When protection has broken down this season for the 49ers (9-2), it has occurred in bunches. Of the 30 sacks the offense has allowed, 20 have come in three games, the other two games being the 27-24 overtime loss to Dallas in Week 2 (six sacks) and the 13-8 win over Cincinnati in Week 3 (five).
Against Baltimore, the offensive line wasn't helped when right guard Adam Snyder suffered a left hamstring pull late in the first quarter. His replacement, Chilo Rachal, was shaky early.
Harbaugh said that he didn't know the status of Snyder's injury, but added: "If it's prolonged with Snyder, then Chilo will step up."
Snyder and the 49ers get a little extra time to rest before they start preparing for their Dec. 4 game against the St. Louis Rams at Candlestick Park. Players will be off until Monday.
"You go back and look at what we could've exploited better, what we can learn from this in terms of scheme and play calling, et cetera," Harbaugh said. "They're all good learning experiences for us."
Notes Harbaugh reiterated that having to travel cross-country on a short week to play the Thanksgiving Day game was a challenge. "That put us at a competitive disadvantage, that's just the truth," he said. "It's not whining, it's not making excuses, that's just the truth. We knew we had to overcome it, and we weren't able to."
On Smith's throw to 49ers wide receiver Braylon Edwards that was intercepted in the end zone just before halftime, Harbaugh said Smith also could have taken a shot at Ted Ginn on the other side of the field.
"Probably, in hindsight, wish he would've gone to the other side and threw it up to Ted, just the way the coverage unfolded," Harbaugh said.
After seeing film of the chop-block penalty called on Rachal and running back Frank Gore that negated a 75-yard touchdown pass to Ginn in the first quarter, Harbaugh repeated his stance that it was "technically" the right call but added that Rachal "had maybe six fingerprints" on Ravens defensive tackle Cory Redding.