While it would have been nice to win the game against the Ravens, it wasn’t absolutely necessary. The Ravens were playing for their lives to make a playoff birth, and they just wanted it more than the Chargers.
The 22-10 score looks more lopsided than the game actually was. The Chargers already locked up a playoff spot, but were still in contention for the AFC West title. Those hopes are not all gone, but aren’t super probable, Chiefs will have to lose to the Seahawks and Raiders and the Chargers will have to win in Denver next week.
The offense went from playing on of the worst defenses in the NFL last week, the the best defense in the NFL. The Ravens were the toughest defense that the Chargers played all season, and the Chargers simply didn’t have any answers for the Ravens stout defense. Melvin Gordon was the only Charger to score a TD, and the rest of the offense played subpar football. Problem was that the Chargers only got to the Ravens side of the 50, three times all game, and one of those times was from a forced turnover from the Chargers Defense. The biggest blow in the game was a fumble on the Chargers second to last drive, Gates fumbled and the Ravens defense returned it for a TD. The offensive lines performance over the past few weeks has plummeted, Rivers is getting sacked on average of 4 times a game. Micheal Schofield and Sam Tevi have struggled with blocking progressions, it showed in this game. Schofield got burned on 2 of Rivers sacks, I really want to see Forest Lamp with a stating role on this offensive line, either RG or RT. Mike Pouncey is going to have to rally the troops and figure out these offensive line communication issues.
The defense played well at points, but there were also times where Chargers fans were left screaming at them. Jahleel Addae played one of the worst games that I’ve seen from a Safety, he missed several crucial tackles and made terrible angles. It might be time to have him play a linebacker role and bench him. Adrian Phillips played amazing, he made 2 TFL on Lamar Jackson, which is hard to do. I think that he should be the starting FS for the playoffs. Derwin James was a beast as usual, didn’t make any game-changing plays but made his presence known. Micheal Davis played his best game of the year, he broke up a touchdown and a 3rd down catch, hoping to see more from him in the future.
The Chargers had so many penalties on both sides of the ball, several came on 3rd down for the Chargers offense. Not gonna lie, there were a couple that were good calls, but the volume of calls that came on 3rd down was suspicious, and it ruined anything that the Chargers Offense tried starting. Chargers have had trouble with penalties with 109 on the year (not including the 8 against the Ravens). It is something that Anthony Lynn will have to fix, if this team wants to make a deep playoff run.
There was a silver lining to this game, the Chargers already locked up a playoff spot, the defense played really well, minus one play. If the Chiefs win in Seattle on SNF, then the Chargers can just rest their starters next week against the Broncos, and prepare for the playoffs. This game was a great opportunity to play the best defense in the NFL, and learn how to make the offense work. There’s a good chance that the Chargers will have to play this Ravens team in the playoffs again, really hoping that’s not the case and the Steelers can hold on to the division.