The San Diego Chargers have just a small sliver of playoff hope left this season. They must win out to even have a chance at a wildcard. With the Baltimore Ravens being pretty much guaranteed a playoff appearance, could the Ravens fall into a trap on Sunday night?
When I first saw this game on the schedule, I knew it was going to be difficult. The Ravens need to win out if they want the first seed and the Chargers are the toughest opponent left in their way. They’ll enter Qualcomm Stadium (errh Snapdragon Stadium) on Sunday night with their own fate in their hands. They control their own destiny this year and no longer have to rely on others to help them. It’s important that they don’t psych themselves out and fall short of expectations against a team who will probably not make the playoffs.
Although their record doesn’t show it, the San Diego Chargers are an extremely talented team. Their receiving corp is led by the massive Vincent Jackson and the beast himself, Antonio Gates. Phillip Rivers is a highly capable quarterback that has no problem shedding apart opposing defenses and despite the bad start, he has played great in the last few games. This high octane passing offense leaves the Ravens in trouble as their best corner, Lardarius Webb, was injured last week and may not play.
What worries me most is that the Chargers will get off to a fast start and the Ravens will be forced to play catch up. When Baltimore gets to play their game, they will almost always win, but when they fall behind and abandon Ray Rice is when things start to get shaky. We’ve seen numerous times this year when the Ravens have to start passing to stay in games and end up throwing the gameplan out the window. In order for the Ravens to be successful, they must continue to stick with what they do best. Run the ball!