Saturday night in the NFL will see the Los Angeles Chargers hosting the Baltimore Ravens in what could be a potential playoff preview. The Chargers are trying to keep their hopes of the number one seed alive with a fifth straight win in this game. Baltimore still has a chance to win the AFC North, but they must win their final two games and hope for some Steelers’ losses.
The Chargers come into this game with an 11-3 record, and dispatched the Kansas City Chiefs in an exciting week 15 battle. Los Angeles has won 10 of their last 11 games after starting the season at 1-2. The Ravens bring a 8-6 record into this matchup with the Chargers and have won four of their last five games. The Chargers are a 4.5 point favorite over the Ravens on Saturday night.
Chargers Defense Is Stepping Up
The Chargers have always featured terrific offenses, but LA can play some defense this season. The defense is led by rookie safety Derwin James, who might just be the defensive rookie of the year this season. Los Angeles has given up just 21.3 points per game this season and has racked up 34 sacks. James has 3.5 of those 34 sacks and leads the team with 93 total tackles.
Quarterback Philip Rivers is once again having a monster season for the Chargers, and this might be his best chance to win his first Super Bowl. Rivers has thrown for 3,951 yards this season, and has completed 69.4 percent of his passes. Wide receiver Keenan Allen has caught 88 passes for 1,074 yards this season, but is listed as questionable for Saturday night. The Chargers are expecting star running back Melvin Gordon back for this game against the Ravens.
Ravens Will Look To Run
While the Chargers do most of their damage through the air, Baltimore will try to run their way to another victory. The Ravens have ran for over 190 yards in each of their last five games, which coincides with Lamar Jackson taking over the starting quarterback job. Jackson leads the Ravens with 566 yards, but has completed just 58.9 percent of his passes. Baltimore will need to find some balance against one of the best defenses in the league.
The Baltimore Ravens have the best defense in the NFL in terms of not allowing points. Baltimore is giving up just 18.1 points per game so far this season, and is giving up just 203 passing yards per game. The secondary of the Ravens will be tested by Rivers in this game, but expect Baltimore to try to get pressure on the QB. Baltimore has recorded 39.0 sacks this season, and have a great defensive line.
Los Angeles Continues Hot Streak
Both teams desperately need this win, but the Chargers have the big advantage of playing at home. The Chargers proved in week 15 that they are one of the most complete teams in the NFL, and getting Gordon back in this game will give them another weapon. Baltimore has been able to run over their last five opponents, but it won’t happen on Saturday night. Bet the Los Angeles Chargers -4.5 over the Baltimore Ravens in this game.