Rapid Review: Ravens lose close one to Chargers

The Baltimore Ravens lost a close game to the San Diego Chargers at home. The loss breaks a streak of 11 games in a row in November for the Ravens. Phillip Rivers lead the Chargers on a game winning drive that was prolonged thanks to a rather questionable defensive pass interference call on Anthony Levine as he and Malcolm Floyd fought for a deep throw. John Harbaugh said that “it was disappointing that our guy (Levine) didn’t get the chance to make a play.” The Chargers went ahead on a smoke screen pass to Eddie Royal that made the score 34-33 in favor of the Chargers.


The 34 points that the Ravens allowed at home was the most that they have given up on the year. They were only allowing 18.9 points per game which was fifth in the NFL. Phillip Rivers was able to connect mostly with Keenan Allen and Antonio Gates to fuel the passing game. Rivers completed 34 of 45 pass attempts for 383 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Allen lead the Chargers receiving unit with 11 receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Gates came through especially on third down situations and had seven receptions for 83 yards. Malcolm Floyd chipped in with an outstanding three receptions for 85 yards.

The Ravens seemed to be off to a hot start as they jumped ahead early. They had a very effective drive to start the game which was capped off with a 16 yard Torrey Smith touchdown. Elvis Dumervil got a hand on Rivers to disrupt the throw and Daryl Smith intercepted the pass giving the Ravens the ball on the Chargers 19 yard line. The Ravens had to settle for a field goal by Justin Tucker and they took a 10 – 0 lead quickly.

The offense was able to put up 33 points but couldn’t score touchdowns on four of their seven red zone visits, instead coming away with field goals. That was the thing that came back to hurt them in the end. Justin Tucker was money on his field goal attempts but teams that trade field goals for the opposing team’s touchdowns often find themselves at the wrong end of the win/loss column.


Game Standouts:

- Justin Forsett had 106 yards rushing which put him at 1,009 yards on the season. This is his first season ever rushing for 1,000 or more yards.

- Terrell Suggs had one sack which gave him 101.5 sacks over his career. He is now alone in 28th place on the all time sacks list.

- Torrey Smith scored two touchdowns, giving him four scores in the last four games. He continues to be a threat on the slant routes in the red zone.

- Steve Smith Sr. had one catch for two yards on only three targets on the day. He and Chargers corner Brandon Flowers where battling all game.

- The Chargers were able to convert nine of their 11 third down attempts (81%) and scored touchdowns on three of their five red zone visits (60%).

- The Ravens were penalized 14 times for a total of 98 yards.

- Marlon Brown made two key catches early in the game but suffered a concussion and missed all of the second half.

Notable Quotes:

Anthony Levine on the pass interference call: “I went for the ball they made the call I got to learn from it.”

- Joe Flacco on the last drive and how the defense played against Steve Smith Sr.:They were playing soft zone, waiting for the ball to be thrown in the air. We were trying to get into FG range at the end. They weren’t doing anything to take Steve Smith away, other guys where freeing up and we took advantage of that.”

Steve Smith Sr. on his frustrating day: “With me on the field, it was like we were playing with ten men. They didn’t do anything complicated to stop us. We just have to make plays. This is a stinger. If you look around the locker room, a lot of people are gone and disappointed. I can attribute it to a lot of stuff, but at the end of the day, I have to stay focused. You’ve got to be open-minded and you’ve got to have tough skin.”

- John Harbaugh on the pass interference call: I saw a corner trying to make a play with a forearm on his chest and clavicle being held down, not allowed to jump for the ball. Players should be the guys determining the outcome of the game in a situation like that, without question.”

The Ravens will travel to Miami to face the Dolphins next Sunday. Both of these teams are still in the wildcard race. Next week will be the Ravens second visit to Florida. They will hope to be able to replicate the success that they had the last time in Florida when they beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 48 – 17. The Dolphins have an up and coming quarterback in Ryan Tannehill. The secondary will be challenged once again.

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