The Baltimore Ravens saw their four-game winning streak come to an end following a 34-14 blowout suffered against the San Diego Chargers on Dec. 18 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif. The Ravens (10-4 overall) still managed to clinch a playoffs berth but their untimely loss to San Diego may have blown their opportunity of landing home field advantage in the playoffs. Meanwhile, the win keeps the Chargers (7-7 overall) in the hunt for a wild card seed.

Most Outstanding Player(s) of the Game: Chargers Pro Bowl quarterback Philip Rivers had a stellar night passing the ball against the Ravens; he completed 17-of-23 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown, no turnovers. On 3rd downs, Rivers completed 5-of-5 passes for 106 yards, engineering an unstoppable Chargers’ offensive unit.

San Diego running back Ryan Mathews also played well, rushing for 90 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries to help his team drain the Ravens’ defense with long scoring drives. The Chargers didn’t punt the ball once all game.

On defense, it was former Ravens linebacker Antawn Barnes who shined the most, recording a game-high four sacks, along with seven tackles for the Chargers. He also helped a teammate hold onto an interception made on Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco in the third quarter.

Unsung Hero of the Game: Another former Raven, Chargers left tackle Jared Gaither had a great, yet quiet game. Gaither was signed by San Diego just a week ago after being released by the Kansas City Chiefs. Gaither stepped in to start for the Chargers this Sunday and blocked well, limiting the production from Ravens Pro Bowl linebacker Terrell Suggs who didn’t touch the Chargers quarterback all game.

More Game Notes: The Chargers became the first team to score more than 30 points of offense against the Ravens’ usually stingy defense. San Diego finished with 415 total yards, while Baltimore was limited to just 290 yards.

Next-Up: The Ravens will attempt to bounce back from the disappointing loss on Dec. 24 with a home game against the Cleveland Browns.


Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor