The San Diego Chargers outplayed the Ravens in every aspect of the game offense, defense, and special teams. The Ravens offense drove the ball twice in the first quarter but only got seven points. Billy Cundiff missed a 36 yard field goal and that can’t happen. He has been awful the last few weeks, and when you have a 36 yarder, a chip shot in the NFL, you can not miss it. The Ravens clinched a playoff berth, but they must hit field goals to win a game.
The Ravens secondary got killed yesterday. Phillip Rivers exploited rookie Jimmy Smith. He went Smith’s way multiple times and over 50 percent of the passes were completed when throwing around Smith. The Chargers said that Smith was over confident, but after this game there is no way that he should be over confident for the rest of the year. The Ravens secondary was hurting without Lardarius Webb. He is having a tremendous season and is the Ravens number one cornerback.
The Ravens pass rush was non existent in this game. Terrell Suggs didn’t have one sack after a huge week against the Colts. He is a very inconsistent; one week he may have two sacks and the next not even got any pressure. He was going against Jared Gaither, ex Raven, but he has only been on the Chargers for two weeks. The Ravens lead the NFL in sacks but had none versus the Chargers.
Ray Lewis was back for the Ravens defense this week but it didn’t matter. The Chargers played amazing on offense. I have heard people say, “The Ravens defense is better without Lewis.” I disagree, I think they are much better with him. He may have lost a step, but he reads things so well. If they had anyone else in, it would not have helped. If I had to get rid of one of the superstars, it would be Ed Reed. He bites on every pump fake, and Rivers really hurt Reed with the pump fakes. Reed is a ball hawk, but it hurts him sometimes. His tackling is much better this year, but I think that if I chose to get rid of Reed, Lewis, Suggs, or Ngata. Ed Reed would be the guy to go, even though none of the superstars played well last night.
The Chargers had their best game of the year. They used motion to check out the Ravens defense, whether it was man or zone. After Rivers read that, he was able to change a route and make the throws. The Chargers showed the league the Ravens blue print. They attacked the secondary and ran when they had to.
The Ravens have to play two straight divisional games to end the year. They play the Browns at home and then the Bengals at Cincinnati. I think they will beat the Browns but lose to the Bengals. I think they will go into the playoff as the fifth seed, again. There is no way they can go deep in the playoffs if they play on the road. They have played terribly on the road this year, losing to the Seahawks, Chargers, Titans, and Jaguars. They are undefeated at home, so to me they must win the division to go deep in the playoffs.