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Ravens vs Chargers: 5 things to watch for

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Let's get right down to it. The Baltimore Ravens take on the San Diego Chargers in what could be a critical game if both teams turn around their disappointing seasons. What should we look out for?

1.) Ravens pass defense vs Phillip Rivers

The Ravens defense has allowed over 1,000 yards passing in the last three games which includes a 457 yard passing game by Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown. Rivers has already thrown for over 500 yards this year. This doesn't bode well for the Ravens defense.

It feels like every time the ball travels over 25 yards through the air, it automatically means the Ravens defense gave up a big play.

2.) Buck Allen getting touches

Allen had a good game last week against the Arizona Cardinals and it will be interesting if the Ravens feed him the ball more. Allen is averaging 4.9 yards per carry on 33 touches this season while starting running back Justin Forsett is averaging 4.3 yards per carry. Not bad either way, but the Ravens should run and run often against a Chargers defense that is one of the worst in the league.

3.) Jimmy Smith playing more press coverage

Smith was criticized earlier this week by his defensive coordinator Dean Pees for not being productive. Will he take that to inspire his defense? Or will he be part of a secondary that continues to give up big play after big play? Smith is a talented corner and I think becomes more aggressive in this game against a Chargers wide receiver in Keenan Allen who leads the NFL in receptions with 62.

4.) Will James Hurst solidify the left tackle spot?

One game doesn't make a player but if Ravens left tackle James Hurst plays well against the Chargers, it will be interesting going forward what happens at that position as starting left tackle Eugene Monroe continues to deal with injury after injury since he signed a five year deal worth 37.5 million during the 2014 offseason.

5.) Can the Ravens finally close out a game?

The story of the Ravens season is the team finding ways to lose. Whether it is the defense giving up a lead late in the fourth quarter, or the offense turning the ball over on the final drive of the game to win or tie, the Ravens just haven't been themselves. Can they finally close out a game against a Chargers team that is struggling as well?