AFC Wild Card Preview: Los Angeles Chargers vs Baltimore Ravens

 

Photo Courtesy: velo_city

By DaVince “Dino” Wright

Game Info
Los Angeles Chargers vs Baltimore Ravens
Sunday – January 6 – 12:05 p.m.
TV: CBS
M&T Bank Stadium – Baltimore, MD

Records Before Kickoffs
Los Angeles Chargers (12-4, 7-1 Away)
Baltimore Ravens (10-6, 6-2 Home)

Let me guess, no one saw this coming. Baltimore is a good team with Joe Flacco under center, but starting former Heisman winner Lamar Jackson when Flacco is ready is crazy! Baltimore has moved into the future while the present sits and watches. Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers is searching for his first Super Bowl title with a banged up running back and an offensive guard that’s nursing a shoulder injury. Let’s take a look at this match up from both teams.

Why you shouldn’t watch this game
It’s the first Sunday of the new year and its time to take down the Christmas decorations and move them into storage.

Why you should watch this game
Chargers running back Melvin Gordon has been hampered with an nagging injury and he’s the key to the passing game. Oh and the winner moves on in the postseason…

Los Angeles Chargers
Philip Rivers is the catalyst for a win on the road this week. He has to take those long shots down the field. Wide out Keenan Allen has the tools to stretch the field, he has to get separation on the line to get himself open. The defense has to stop Lamar Jackson from running the ball on short yardage downs. The Chargers at times get rattled on defense because of the big plays they give up in the later part of games where they lead going into the 4th quarter. The Chargers game plan is simple, stretch the field and play tough defense.

Baltimore Ravens
The game plan is simple. A heavy dose of that dynamite rookie Lamar Jackson! With his running ability and short passing skills keeps defenses guessing. You can’t send a heavy rush at him, because he can run. You can’t play a zone, because his receivers find holes in the secondary. So what do you do? The answer is force him to make pass plays, not run them. The Ravens defense will play fast and physical against the Chargers. Containing Philip Rivers is simple. Make him beat you with his arm. You can’t throw passes from your backside. Apply pressure all day long to Rivers and he’ll crack. Plain and simple.

Prediction
ESPN has this match as EVEN. This game will be close and turnovers will be the key to victory for either team. I’m taking the Ravens by 7.

Final Score
Ravens – 20
Chargers – 13