The Baltimore Ravens improved to 9-2 on the season and 4-2 on the road with a 16-13 OT victory over the San Diego Chargers this past Sunday afternoon. Baltimore now holds a three game lead in the AFC North with five games remaining, and play the Pittsburgh Steelers this week with a chance to clinch the division.
Yesterday we recapped the OT victory for the Ravens, but today we will dive deeper into the numbers to show just how Baltimore pulled off the victory. The defense once again shined, and was the reason Baltimore even had a chance to win the game, while to offense was a tail of two halves (second half includes OT). Let's dive into some specifics from Sunday's game for both the offense and defense.
Ravens offense in the first half:
- The Ravens offense only mustered 90 total yards of offense in the first half and was shut out in a half for the first time since 2011 when they lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
- Of those 90 total yards, Joe Flacco had just 55 passing yards and it seemed that the season long road woes were upon Flacco once again.
- Baltimore had the ball six times in the first half and punted on five of them, the one that didn't end in a punt ended because the half ended.
- Ray rice had 19 rushing yards on just four carries, and the offensive line allowed three sacks.
Ravens offense in the second half/OT:
- The light bulb went off on the road offensive alarm as Baltimore put up 353 total yards of offense in the second half/OT, including 294 passing yards from Flacco and 78 rushing yards from Rice.
- Baltimore had the ball seven times in the second half/OT and only punted the ball twice, while putting up all 16 of their points.
- Flacco and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron finally started to counter the all out rush the quarterback Chargers defense by throwing in some screen passes and up the middle seam routes and it worked perfectly on a number of occasions.
As great of a play the 4th and 29 conversion was by Rice, the defense was the star of the show and the reason the Ravens had a chance to make the fourth quarter comeback. Baltimore's defense was all over Chargers' quarterback Phillip Rivers all game, sacking him six times and constantly forcing him to throw the ball away. Although they did not force a turnover, they did hold San Diego to just 280 total yards on 64 plays, as opposed to the Ravens offense that put up 443 total yards on 91 plays. The Ravens red zone defense has been their strong point all season and ranks number 1 in the NFL by a huge margin, and that trend continued Sunday as the defense forced a Chargers field goal in the fourth quarter when San Diego was in the red zone knocking on the door to go up by two touchdowns.
The Ravens offense showed up in the second half, which is a promising sign for Ravens fans as a hope that this team will be able to perform more consistently on the road. Baltimore's defense, although not considered one of the best in the NFL, continues to keep teams from putting up big point totals on the scoreboard and has kept the Ravens in every game, but the Houston game. Coach John Harbaugh and the Ravens will now turn their focus onto "Steelers Week" looking to possibly clinch the AFC North with a victory and a Cincinnati Bengals loss.
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