The 12-4 Los Angeles Chargers will travel to Baltimore to take on the 10-6 Ravens this Sunday afternoon in a Wild Card game. Both teams have been playing great the second half of the season as each has just 1 loss in their last 6 games. Each won last week but only the Ravens needed the victory. Baltimore held on for a 26-24 win at home over the Cleveland Browns which gave them first place in the AFC North. Los Angeles had already clinched a spot when they defeated the Denver Broncos 23-9 on the road. These 2 teams last met in week 16 with the Ravens posting an impressive 22-10 victory in Los Angeles.
Lamar Jackson had an off day passing wise against the Browns but he more than made it up with his legs. He completed just 14 of 24 passes for 179 yards 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. He did however rush for 90 yards and 2 touchdowns. His favorite target was Mark Andrews who had 4 catches for 54 yards. They rushed for 296 yards total, and were led by Kenny Dixon who had 117 yards on 12 carries. Defensively, they intercepted Baker Mayfield 3 times and had 6 tackles for losses. The Browns rushed for 50 yards on 14 carries which is an average of 3.6 yards per run. For the year, the Ravens lead the NFL in opponent’s yards per game with 292.9 and are second in points allowed per game with 17.9.
The Chargers turned the ball over 4 times against the Broncos last week and still earned the easy win. Philip Rivers finished with a quarterback rating of 44.6 as he completed 14 of 24 passes for 176 yards 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. His favorite target was Mike Wallace who had 5 catches for 65 yards and a touchdown. They averaged 3.9 yards per rush as they gained 116 yards on 30 carries. Defensively, they forced 4 turnovers as they had 3 fumble recoveries and 1 interception. They allowed 3.3 yards per run as the Broncos gained 82 yards on 25 carries. The Chargers defense ranked 9th this year with 333.7 yards allowed per game.
Baltimore will have home field advantage and are favored by 2.5 points. They have gone 8-8 against the spread including 3-5 at home. The Chargers have gone 9-7 against the spread including just 2-6 at home. Lamar Jackson took over for Joe Flacco in week 11 and has been outstanding. He is 6-1 in his 7 starts this year and has turned their season around as they were 4-5 before he took over. This will be a road game for the Chargers despite having 2 more wins than the Ravens. They have shined on the road this season going 7-1 but their offense production the last 2 games is troubling. Their offense ranked 7th this season with 26.8 points per game but scored just 33 combined in weeks 16 and 17.