On Saturday night, the Baltimore Ravens will face off against the Los Angeles Chargers in Los Angeles in a battle with playoff implications. The Ravens come in at 8-6 and are in a three-way tie with the Colts and Titans for the second wild card spot. The Chargers come in at 11-3 and have clinched their playoff birth, but are tied with the Kansas City Chiefs for first place in their division as well as the entire AFC.
Ravens Try to Recover From Ugly Performance
The Ravens are coming off an ugly performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but they came out with a 20-12 victory. Lamar Jackson went just 14 for 23 for 131 yards and one touchdown through the air and threw no interceptions. Willie Snead IV was the leading receiver with 5 catches for 58 yards. Chris Moore was the receiver with the touchdown catch. The run game was the story in this one as Baltimore ran the ball down Tampa Bay’s throat. Gus Edwards rushed 19 times for 104 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Lamar Jackson ran 18 times for 95 yards and Kenneth Dixon added 48 yards on 11 carries.
The Chargers are coming off a miraculous victory last week in Kansas City where they scored 15 unanswered points to take the victory with 4 seconds to play. Phillip Rivers overcame two interceptions and went 26 for 38 for 313 yards and 2 touchdowns. Mike Williams was the man for the Chargers in this one and he was the reason they won the game. Williams caught 7 balls for 76 yards and two touchdowns. Williams also ran the ball one time for a 19-yard touchdown. He was also the guy who caught the game-winning two point conversion with seconds left in the game. Justin Jackson was the leading rusher with 58 yards on 16 rushes and a touchdown.
Injuries and Swaps Abound
The Ravens are 4-1 since Lamar Jackson took over as the starting quarterback for Joe Flacco after the bye week. They should be 5-0 but they squandered a late fourth quarter lead to the Chiefs in week 14. Lamar Jackson’s legs have been the key for Baltimore rather than his arm. The Ravens rank 12th in the league in total yards with 370 a game. They rank 20th in passing yards with just 228 a game but are an impressive 2nd in the league in rushing yards with 142 yards per game. The defense has been incredible all year long. They rank 1st in the NFL in yards per game allowed and points per game allowed with 290 and 18, respectively.
The Chargers have been banged up lately and were without Keenan Allen against the Chiefs as he went down early with a hip injury. Melvin Gordon III has missed the past three games for the Chargers but they have been able to come out victorious in all three. Both Allen and Gordon are both expected to play Saturday against the Ravens. The Chargers have been a balanced team this season. The offense ranks 4th in points with 28 per game and 6th in yards with 392 per game. They are averaging 270 passing yards and 122 rushing yards per game, good for 8th and 12th in the league, respectively. The defense ranks 8th in yards allowed with 329 per game and 9th in points allowed with 21 per game.
Cahrgers vs. Ravens Prediction
The Chargers come in at -4. Both of these teams are hot coming in to this game and they both need a win here. The Chargers already have a spot in the playoffs so it is safe to say that this game means more to the Ravens as they are battling for the last playoff spot. The Raven offense has looked different since Lamar Jackson took over and has found success. The defense has been one of the best in the league all year long and should be able to slow down this Charger offense. Take the Ravens +4.
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