Defense forces three turnovers to carry Ravens to 22-10 win over Chargers

AP

Two turnovers forced by the Baltimore defense proved pivotal in carrying the Ravens to a 22-10 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night.

With the Chargers driving for a potential go-ahead touchdown near midfield with three minutes remaining, Patrick Onwuasor forced a fumble of Chargers tight end Antonio Gates which was returned 62 yards for a clinching touchdown by Ravens safety Tavon Young. Marlon Humphrey intercepted Philip Rivers on the final drive for the Chargers to put the final icing on the victory for Baltimore.

A Brandon Carr interception of Rivers on the first offensive snap of the game set up a 24-yard field goal and set the tone for the night for the Ravens defense.

Los Angeles was held to just 198 yards of total offense. Even with Melvin Gordon returning to the lineup and Keenan Allen playing despite a hip injury, the Chargers offense couldn’t move the ball against the Ravens. Los Angeles was held to just 198 yards of total offense on the night. Rivers completed 23 of 37 passes for 181 yards and two interceptions. He was sacked four times by the Baltimore defense and hit eight times in total.

Lamar Jackson passed for 204 yards and a touchdown and Tucker converted three field goals on the night to add to the Baltimore scoring effort, but the dominance of the defense carried the day.

The Chargers will be eliminated in the AFC West chase if Kansas City defeats Seattle on Sunday night.

After Rivers first interception by Carr, Gus Edwards immediately broke off a 43-yard run on Baltimore’s first offensive snap to move inside the Chargers red zone. However, the Chargers defense would stiffen up with a third down pass from Jackson to Michael Crabtree falling incomplete to set up a 24-yard Justin Tucker field goal to give the Ravens a quick 3-0 lead.

After missing a 53-yard field goal attempt wide left on Baltimore’s second drive, Tucker would convert a 35-yard field goal to give the Ravens a 6-0 lead. A league-record 65-yard field goal try to end the half came up just short.

The Chargers put together their only meaningful drive of the half right before the break, gaining 56 yards on nine plays with the help of a defensive pass interference call. Michael Badgley converted a 38-yard field goal for L.A.’s only points.

Gordon scored on a 1-yard touchdown run after a Kenneth Dixon fumble set the Chargers up with stellar field position deep in Baltimore territory. After training at the break, Gordon’s touchdown gave the Chargers their first lead of the night at 10-6.

Two plays after getting the ball back, Lamar Jackson threw a perfect pass to tight end Mark Andrews, who stiff-armed safety Jahleel Addae on the way to a 68-yard touchdown to put the Ravens back on top.

Both touchdowns came inside the first three minutes of the third quarter.

Tucker would add a 52-yard field goal to extend the lead to 16-10.

After being pinned against their own goal line, a Desmond King punt return set the Chargers up with great field position with just over three minutes remaining to attempt to steal the victory. A holding penalty on Russell Okung moved the Chargers back to midfield before Gates fumble and Young’s return sealed the deal for the Ravens.

54 responses to “Defense forces three turnovers to carry Ravens to 22-10 win over Chargers

  1. Refs must have thought the Ravens were playing the Browns because the Chargers were getting hosed in some early calls/no-calls.

  2. I had no dog in this hunt either way — not a fan of either team, don’t even care that much about the AFC — but the Chargers really got hosed by the refs in this game. More the non-calls than the calls. But they definitely got hosed.

  3. Phillip Rivers was held under 200 yards with 2 picks against the best D in football.

    Patrick Mahomes threw for 355 yards and 2 TD against this same team and willed his team to a victory.

    Can we please put an end to the MVP “debate” at this point? It’s Mahomes in a landslide.

    Good lord though, I sure hope the Chiefs don’t run into this Ravens team again in the playoffs. Wow.

  4. Great win tonight. I wish they would have kicked a field goal on that one drive to go up by 6 after missing the previous field goal.

  5. That was the statement win of the season for the Ravens. A well played and hard game, won on the offensive and defensive lines. Lamar Jackson is unorthodox and fun to watch. I’m not sure how long it will last, but at least I’m enjoying the ride.

  6. Ravens defense looked impressive. I think they’re back in the mode where the defense can win the game as long as the offense doesn’t commit turnovers or do anything irresponsible. I can see them winning the AFC and going to the Super Bowl. If they play KC in the playoffs, KC will get killed by them.

  7. We saw the real Phillip Rivers tonight, choked when his team needed a win the most. Oh and you can stop with the Rivers is an MVP candidate. MVP candidates don’t post a 50 QB rating at home when your team is battling for a Division title.

  8. Maybe dont have to hear about the Chargers for at least a week. Rivers is a good QB but not the second coming. Go job Ravens, if we meet the Chargers again we wont be withoht Berry or Watkins or ,,,,, Chiefs were up by 14 until no Berry and youd think the Chargers destroyed the Chiefs

  9. Ravens show that defense wins the games. And that Chargers exposed to being vulnerable in a long time. And all this talk of AFC championship over to LA Chargers wait just a second! Ravens could be dangerous down the line for the playoffs there.

  10. Ravens show that defense wins the games. And that Chargers exposed to being vulnerable in a long time. And all this talk of AFC championship over to LA Chargers wait just a second! Ravens could be dangerous down the line for the playoffs there.

  11. Ravens show that defense wins the games. And that Chargers exposed to being vulnerable in a long time. And all this talk of AFC championship over to LA Chargers wait just a second! Ravens could be dangerous down the line for the playoffs there.

  12. I can’t see the Titans winning without their starting qb next week and the Colts are decent but don’t have the defense the Ravens do. I really don’t want to play the Ravens, but that seems likely unless Texans lose.

  13. It was a disgrace that NFL teams played on a field in that condition. Players were slipping and falling

  14. It was a disgrace that NFL teams were playing on a field in that condition. Players were slipping all night and there was visible deterioration before the first quarter was halfway over.

  15. Chargers are one and done. Let’s pray the Ravens don’t come to Foxborough because they’re the only AFC team that can beat us.

  16. No those are the Chargers we’re familiar with. Fly under the radar, and when they start to get some national attention and time in the spotlight, they lay an egg.

  17. Ravens will likely be able to beat whomever they go up against in round 1 but this team isn’t built to come from behind.

    Come January if Lamar has a couple bad turnover or if teams with more tape force him to beat them things could get really ugly.

    Chargers punched their ticket to Baltimore or Pittsburgh though.

  18. ate This
    ravensbob says:
    December 23, 2018 at 4:27 am
    If Harbaugh coached that way every week he’d have Lombardi success!

    1 1 Rate This

    Harbs didn’t have a thing to do with that. Coaching wise, that was 98% Wink, 1.5% Marty and .5% sheer determination…

  19. bjwbrown2011 says:
    December 23, 2018 at 1:08 am
    …Chargers punched their ticket to Baltimore or Pittsburgh though.
    ———————
    Tad early to be sure – they finish @Broncos, but Chiefs still have to play @Hawks, and then vRaiders (who they only beat by one score a few weeks ago thanks to 13 points on turnovers from fumbles). MEANWHILE the Ravens are @Browns (who they lost to in Oct) while the Steelers (@Saints) will prob win at least vBengals next week, so the Ravens might not make the last seed if Titans win vColts.

  20. I have to say that was a great performance by this defense. Rivers looked rattled from the jump.

    Now if Lamar can just make the easy throws I think they are in decent position. Now don’t go out and lose to the Browns next week.

  21. You know who cares about the MVP? Fans of teams that don’t win Super Bowls.

    This Charger loss was no great surprise. Every time their bandwagon gets a bit too heavy, they pop a tire and half the people on the band wagon fall off.

    Rivers entire game depends on his receivers fighting for jump balls. Ii was an ominous sign when Rivers first throw was an interception.

    I know that the Ravens have a stout run defense. The Chargers still have to attempt to run the ball far more than they did.

  22. Lopsided officiating.
    Again.

    I stopped watching the NFL years ago because of the blatant, in-your-face, favoritism by the officials. Then came the replay review. So I gave it another shot, and it was better for a while. This year though, it’s bad. Blatant. They don’t even care that everyone knows, they gonna do it anyway.

  23. bjwbrown2011 said:

    Ravens will likely be able to beat whomever they go up against in round 1 but this team isn’t built to come from behind.
    ——————————–

    Except good teams don’t often find themselves behind that often, at least not by 10+ points. The Ravens defense is good enough that they won’t face two-score deficits in January (assuming they make the playoffs).

  24. Makes me wonder how many Ws the Ravens would have without that Defense. Give credit where credit is due. The Ravens stopped a pretty good offense and gave their own offense opportunities as well. A defensive score doesn’t hurt a teams chances of winning either. Reminds me of those vaunted Seattle and San Francisco teams of a few years back. They are getting it together at the right time.

  25. Scratching my head wondering why when they were punting from their own end zone they didn’t take the safety and free kick from the 30 or 35 yard line and protect a 3 point lead and forcing the ravens to come from the other end of the field instead of starting in great field position !!!

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