By Chris Schisler
The Baltimore Ravens beat the doors off of the Los Angeles Chargers. They didn’t just get a win. They dismantled the Chargers to the tune of a 34-6 win. This was the most complete game Baltimore has played this season. Justin Herbert and the Chargers only had 208 total yards in the game and averaged just 3,9 yards per play. The Ravens offense held the football for a bit over 38 minutes and got the team to an early lead. Offense, defense, special teams, the Ravens put it together.
This game wasn’t close. From the beginning, all the way until the end the Ravens controlled this game. The Baltimore Ravens had 27 first downs, while the Chargers only had 14. The Ravens went six for 11 on third down conversions. The Chargers failed to convert on nine of their 12 third down tries. Do you want to know how bad this was for Los Angeles? They went one for four on fourth down attempts.
One of my keys to this game was that the running backs had to contribute their fair share to the running game. The idea was that the running backs had to contribute half of the running games, at least matching whatever Jackson produced on the ground.
Lamar Jackson had 51 rushing yards in the contest. The running backs more than matched it. Devonta Freeman had 53 yards and Latavius Murray had 44 yards. Freeman, Murray, and Bell all scored a touchdown. After two games where Jackson lifted the Ravens almost entirely by himself, it was nice to see a complete effort from the offense.
What this means for the Baltimore Ravens:
What does this mean moving forward? The Ravens just got their biggest win of the season. This was a battle between two 4-1 teams and a lot of pundits thought the Chargers would get the victory. Nobody expected to see Tyler Huntley in garbage time because the Ravens had it locked up.
This was a statement win for the Ravens. They didn’t need a long Justin Tucker field goal at the last minute. They didn’t need a huge comeback either, Against a contender, a team that could legitimately win the AFC West, Baltimore took care of their business.
The Ravens have five wins and there’s still one more game left in October. Things are good to say the least. This was the hardest game on the Ravens’ schedule until after Thanksgiving when they play the Browns on November 28th. If the purple and black can handle Justin Herbert‘s Chargers, they should be expected to beat the Cincinnati Bengals, Minnesota Vikings, Miami Dolphins, and Chicago Bears.
If the Ravens take care of what they can control, they should have a great record by the time they have their first showdown with the Cleveland Browns. The way the Ravens won this game shows you that things may be coming together. The Ravens now have two comfortable wins this season. One of these wins came today against a good Chargers team. The other was against a Broncos team that was undefeated at the time.
When the Ravens put everything together they can beat anybody. Don’t discount their close victories though. This is a team that finds a way to get it done. They have been battle-tested. John Harbaugh’s team has shown that they can win any kind of game against any kind of competition.
The Bottom Line:
The win against the Chargers could matter when the weather gets cold and the playoff picture starts to take shape. The Browns lost to the Chargers 47-42. Beating the Chargers gives the Ravens a potential tiebreaker over the Browns.
If a playoff spot comes down to the Ravens or the Chargers, it’s the Ravens who have the head-to-head advantage. Beating a first-place AFC team is a big deal. Beating a first-place AFC team that topped your top rival is as good as it gets. This win is a heavy one for Baltimore.
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This win was huge for the Ravens. This was the Ravens most likely loss in this stretch of games. The Ravens have proven that they are a good team. They have a chance to essentailly earn a playoff spot before the schedule gets tough again. This was an absolutely mammoth sized win. Everything is possible for the Ravens.
This is the mark of a special season in the works. If you’re the Buffalo Bills, the Kansas City Chiefs or the Cleveland Browns, the Baltimore Ravens winning this way is the last thing that gives you comfort. The Ravens just announced that they are legitimate Super Bowl contenders.