Coming off a big win in Pittsburgh, the Ravens don’t have to worry about having enough motivation to get up for this Sunday’s game in San Diego.
They can simply harken back to the embarrassment of a year ago.
The Chargers hung a 34-14 loss on the Ravens on Sunday Night Football in San Diego last season.
Until this year’s 30-point defeat in Houston, it was the team’s most lopsided loss since the first year of the John Harbaugh era in 2008. It was by far the worst defeat of last season.
“They kicked our butts,” center
Last year’s game in Houston was neck-and-neck through the first quarter, but the Chargers methodically pulled away from there.
San Diego scored 27 unanswered points from between the middle of the second quarter and the two-minute mark in the fourth quarter. Wide receiver
The Chargers offense was successful on the ground and through air, particularly picking on the Ravens cornerbacks deep.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was extremely efficient, completing 17 of 23 passes for 270 yards and one touchdown (quarterback rating of 127.1). He wasn’t sacked once all day.
Wide receiver Malcom Floyd caught five passes for 96 yards that included a 28-yarder. Big-bodied wideout Vincent Jackson, who no longer plays for the Chargers, caught three passes for 84 yards, including a 58-yarder.
Running back Ryan Mathews posted 26 carries for 90 yards and two touchdowns. Mike Tolbert ran eight times for 40 yards and another score.
“Last year it wasn’t that pleasant,” outside linebacker
The stakes surrounding last year’s game and this year’s contest are similar.
The Ravens clinched a playoff berth about an hour before kickoff last year via results from earlier games. A win would have simply helped them in the chase for the AFC’s top seed and home-field advantage.
San Diego, meanwhile, was scratching for a playoff bid.
This year, the Ravens enter with an 8-2 record and are in control of their own fate. The Chargers (4-6) have lost five of their last six games and are in danger of slipping out of the playoff picture.
“Obviously, they are trying to win their division and seeding and all that stuff,” Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner said.
“We’ve got to get our guys motivated to play well, and we’ve got to go find a way to play a complete game, because we’ve played a lot of games where we’ve played good parts of them at a high level, but we’ve just had too many breakdowns.”
The Ravens are not taking the Chargers for granted. They know how strong they can be.
“You play against a great team every week, regardless of how the rest of the world wants to see that team,” linebacker