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Ravens Cautious of Facing Austin Ekeler This Time Around


Just two weeks ago, the Ravens defeated the Chargers 22-10 at ROKiT Field at Dignity Health Sports Park (formerly StubHub Center).

Well, Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh is pouring over film as the Ravens prepare for a rematch in the must-win Wild Card game on Sunday.

After all, it's rare to be facing a team again in the playoffs on such a quick turnaround. Harbaugh noted that the game will likely look similar to the Week 16 matchup, as there isn't time to mix things up.

"There's just less change between the two games," he said. "You're more familiar with them. It's kind of like a double-header almost. You know them pretty well and you try to change up as much as you can, but you're pretty familiar with each other, that's for sure."

While the Ravens feel familiar with everything the Chargers have to offer, they admit there will be an added piece to the puzzle this week: running back Austin Ekeler.

Ekeler missed the first game against the Ravens due to a neck injury, but upon his return last week against the Broncos, he ran for 58 yards on eight carries and scored a touchdown, looking like he had missed no time at all.

Thus, you can understand why Harbaugh is keeping his eyes on him.

"We're definitely aware of him," he said. "We know he's got talent. He's (a) quick, fast, explosive guy. He has a dimension they didn't have there in the last game to some degree, so we're very aware of him."

Baltimore also has to watch out for the road warriors about to enter M&T Bank Stadium. Including their game in London, the Bolts were 8-1 away from home during the regular season. So, while Harbaugh said it's good to have a home playoff game, he's wary of putting too much emphasis on home field advantage.

"I always feel like the Chargers, if you watch their team and how they play on the road, they're built to play on the road," he said. "Either way, it's going to come down to who plays the best on that day, and it probably doesn't really matter in the end where you play it. But we are happy to have it at home."

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