Quarterback Phillip Rivers threw for 383 yards and three touchdowns to lead the San Diego Chargers back from a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to beat the Baltimore Ravens, 34-33, on Nov. 30 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones, left, rushes past San Diego Chargers cornerback Brandon Flowers (26), strong safety Marcus Gilchrist (38) and free safety Eric Weddle (32) in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
The matchup had huge playoffs implications as both teams entered the game with a 7-4 record and were in the hunt for a division title or wild card seed. But it was the Chargers who took one step closer to a playoff berth, improving to 8-4 while the Ravens dropped to 7-5.
Down 30-20 with 6:53 left in the game, Rivers quickly marched his team down the field for a touchdown to cut the Ravens’ lead to just three points with 3:40 left. Jacoby Jones ran the ensuing kickoff back 73 yards to give the Ravens outstanding field position, and quarterback Joe Flacco made a pass for a first down that caused the Chargers to use up their remaining timeouts.
Baltimore Ravens running back Justin Forsett, left, tries to break free of San Diego Chargers defensive end Corey Liuget while rushing the ball in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
But Baltimore faced third down with the clock stopped at 2:25 and, instead of a running play that would have drawn the clock down to the two-minute warning, the Ravens’ coaching staff dialed up a passing play that led to Flacco throwing the ball away to avoid a sack. The incomplete pass stopped the clock ahead of the two-minute warning, and the Ravens went on to kick a field goal to extend their lead to 33-27.
With the two-minute warning clock stoppage at his advantage, Rivers led his team 80 yards down the field, capped off with a game-winning touchdown pass to receiver Eddie Royal.
Rivers delivered his heroic performance after a rough start to the game: his first pass was intercepted by Ravens’ linebacker Daryl Smith, and the Chargers fell behind 10-0 in the opening quarter. From that point, Rivers made the proper adjustments to beat Baltimore’s blitz, completing 34 of 45 pass attempts for 383 yards, three touchdowns and a passer rating of 113.5. Chargers second-year receiver Keenan Allen caught many of Rivers’ passes, finishing with 11 catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, right, rushes the ball past San Diego Chargers free safety Eric Weddle in the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 30, 2014, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)
Flacco had a solid performance despite the loss. The seventh-year quarterback scored three touchdowns, two passing and one on the ground, and completed 19 of 31 pass attempts for 225 yards, no turnovers and a passer rating of 104.9. Ravens running back Justin Forsett ran for a game-high 106 yards on 24 carries, marking the third straight game in which he ran for 100 yards or more. The journeyman running back also eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing on the season, the first time he has reached the mark in his seven-year career.
Baltimore will travel to Miami to face the Dolphins (6-5) on Dec. 7. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. EST.