The (12-4) Los Angeles Chargers will travel to Baltimore to take on the (10-6) Ravens on Sunday, January 6th.
The Chargers started the season 1-2 and finished the year winning 11 out of their last 13 games.
The Ravens started the season 4-5 before winning 6 out of their last 7 games.
The Chargers were led by MVP candidate, quarterback Phillip Rivers. The former North Carolina State star threw for 4,308 yards had 32 touchdown passes and 12 interception. Running back, Melvin Gordon missed some time this season but appears to be 100% healthy. Gordon played in 12 games, caught 50 passes, averaged 5.06 yards per carry and had 14 total touchdowns. WR, Keenan Allen had 97 receptions and 6 touchdown catches.
On defense, this team is better than most people think. They only had 38 sacks on the year but they were ranked 9th in total yards, 9th in passing yards, and 8th in points per game. Derwin James, Jatavis Brown and Adrian Phillips had 296 tackles combined and Joey Bosa, when healthy, is one of the best at pressuring the quarterback.
The Ravens have really taken the running game to another level under quarterback Lamar Jackson. They finished 2nd in the NFL, averaging 152 rushing yards per game.
Over the past 7 games they have rushed for 267, 242,207,194,159 and 296 yards. The Ravens are putting up passing stats in the running game. Running back, Gus Edwards averages 5.2 yards per carry and Jackson is averaging 4.2 yards per carry. The two along with Alex Collins had 14 rushing TD’s.
Defensively, the Ravens have been one of the best units in the NFL. They sacked the quarterback 43 times in 16 games which was 11th in the NFL. They are 1st in yards allowed (292 per game),
4th in rushing yards (82.9 per game) and 2nd giving up only 17.9 points per game.
On Saturday, December 22nd, the Ravens beat the Chargers 22-10. This was a game where the Ravens dominated from start to finish. The Chargers were without their #1 WR and #1 Running back in Allen and Gordon. Both will be healthy and ready to play. The key to this game is who controls the line of scrimmage. The Ravens won that battle last time.
John Harbaugh is one of the best coaches in the NFL and he will have to find a way to get his passing game going. You can’t win long -term, in any sport, being one dimensional. I like the fact that the Chargers have already seen Baltimore’s offense and they will make the adjustments.
Take LA here in a Very Close Game.
Chargers 20… Ravens 19.
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