The Ravens had no answer for Philip Rivers and his high-flying passing attack... again. Jimmy Smith and Cary Williams were beaten over and over as the Chargers moved up and down the field through the air. In the first quarter it seemed Baltimore may have a shot at staying in the game. Then, in the second, Joe Flacco badly over-threw Ray Rice on what would been an easy first down on a third and two. From then on it was pretty much all San Diego. The game was not as close as the 34-14 score indicated. Honestly, I'm not sure how San Diego stayed under 40 points.
The Chargers put up some impressive numbers but the one that stood out to me was they averaged 11.7 yards per passing play. You cannot win many games when the other team is picking up at least ten yards virtually every time they throw the ball. Malcom Floyd led San Diego with five catches for 98 yards and a touchdown. All the passing seemed to open up the run game for Ryan Mathews as he carried the ball 26 times for 90 yards and a touchdown.
Flacco completed 23 of 34 passes for 226 yards with two touchdowns and two picks. Torrey Smith had a decent day with six catches for 77 yards and a touchdown and Ray Rice ran the ball 10 times for 55 yards. Baltimore looked like the JV team scrimmaging the varsity on Sunday Night Football and I guess now all Ravens fans will become big fans of the San Fransisco 49ers tomorrow night as they host the Pittsburgh Steelers. Hopefully the west coast will be as kind to them as it was to their counterparts here in Baltimore.
The Ravens needed this game. They needed it badly and their playoff picture just got a whole lot cloudier. However, the season is not over. It is up to John Harbaugh and his staff to identify the many problems this team experienced this week and win their next two games. They will need to build up a head of steam going into the playoffs. It's not the end of the world but it still hurts... a lot.