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Ravens Rally to Stun Chargers in OT
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Sixty minutes of tight play wasn’t enough for the Chargers and Ravens on Sunday. In the end, it was the Ravens who made the big plays in overtime as they escaped San Diego with a 16-13 victory.
The first quarter was a defensive standoff that saw five punts between the two teams. The Chargers continued that trend to force a three-and-out to start the second quarter. With the ball at their own 22, the Bolts put together a nine play, 78-yard drive culminated by a 21-yard strike from Philip Rivers to Malcom Floyd for a 7-0 lead. After the defense forced another three-and-out, the Bolts moved the ball down field for a Nick Novak 47-yard field goal and a 10-0 lead. Antwan Barnes sacked Joe Flacco on first down to set up yet another three-and-out, and the Chargers got the ball back. However, they were unable to sustain anything and punted the ball back to the Ravens. The defense held again and the Chargers ended the half up 10 points.
The Ravens got off to a quick start to the second half thanks to a 54-yard catch and run by Torrey Smith on third down. However, the Chargers defense buckled down and limited the damage to a 43-yard field goal. Just over three minutes into the quarter, San Diego led 10-3. After a trio of three-and-outs, the Ravens took over at their own 24. They marched it down to the Bolts’ 14 yard line, but Corey Liuget penetrated the line on a fourth and inches for a loss of two and a turnover on downs. At the end of three, the Chargers led 10-3.
Opening up the fourth quarter, the Chargers strung together a long 13 play drive that ended with a Novak 30-yard field goal. The score extended the Chargers lead to 13-3. Undeterred, the Ravens came back with their most impressive drive of the game, going 80 yards in nine plays for a four-yard Dennis Pitta touchdown. The Chargers immediately went three-and-out, punting the ball back to the Ravens with just over three minutes remaining to either tie or take the lead. While the Ravens managed to get a first down, the defense stepped up big time, forcing them into a fourth-and-29. On the play, Ray Rice took a short dump off and made numerous defenders miss for a 30-yard gain. The play was reviewed and the ball was re-spotted, but it was still enough for a first down. Eventually, Justin Tucker came out and kicked the game-tying 38-yard field goal.
The Chargers won the toss and received first. They got a pair of first downs on catches by Danario Alexander and Seyi Ajirotutu, but only managed to get to midfield before having to punt. The defense gave up two first downs as the Ravens inched toward midfield, but Shareece Wright came up with a big tackle on a 3rd-and-10 on Pitta to force a punt. Unfortunately, the Chargers went three-and-out and had to punt the ball back to the Ravens. Baltimore drove the ball deep into San Diego territory, highlighted by a 31-yard grab by Torrey Smith on 3rd-and-10 down to the Bolts 16 yard line. Tucker then kicked a game-winning 38-yard field goal to escape with the win.
It was 4th-and-29 with under two minutes remaining and a stop would give the Chargers a win. Unfortunately, Ray Rice took a check down pass from Joe Flacco and made almost the entire Chargers defense miss as he weaved his way down the field for a 29-yard gain and a first down. The Ravens would kick the game-tying field goal as time expired and won it in overtime.
It Was Over When…
Justin Tucker kicked his second 38-yard field goal of the game with 1:07 left in overtime to give the visitors the victory.
Play of the Game
On fourth and inches at the San Diego 16, Bernard Pierce took a pitch and tried to cut upfield, only to be met by Corey Liuget who dropped him for a loss of two and a change of possession.
Stat of the Game
The Chargers did not commit a single turnover on offense.
“We’re trying to find ways to get first downs. We’re trying to find ways to stop them. We’re trying to find ways to get a lead. We’re trying to find a way to make that lead bigger. We’re trying to find a way to win a game.” – Head Coach Norv Turner
“I wish I knew (why we’re losing). This team is more talented and works harder than a 4-7 team. We have better coaching than that and better players than that.” – Linebacker Jarret Johnson
“We’ve just got to bounce back and make the next play and the next play and go from there.” – Defensive End Corey Liuget
Odds and Ends
Demorrio Williams and Corey Lynch led the team with 10 tackles each.
Shaun Phillips’ sack in the second quarter was the 67th of his career, tying him for second all-time in Chargers history.
The Chargers announced the following injuries: Antwan Barnes (hamstring), Darrel Stuckey (hamstring), Atari Bigby (groin), Donald Butler (groin), Eric Weddle (concussion), Corey Liuget (tibia), Antonio Garay (thigh), Jeromey Clary (thigh)a and Danario Alexander (thigh)
Changes in the starting lineup included Rex Hadnot for Tyronne Green and Cam Thomas for Aubrayo Franklin.
The inactives today included Green, Curtis Brinkley, Larry English, Brandon Taylor, Jonas Mouton, Eddie Royal and Dante Rosario.
Darren Bennett was inducted into the team’s ring of honor at halftime.