Chargers waste opportunity as offense stalls in loss to Ravens

CARSON, Calif. -- Facing perhaps the toughest defense in the NFL, a usually explosive Los Angeles Chargers' offense sputtered on Saturday, falling 22-10 to the Baltimore Ravens in a nationally televised game at the StubHub Center.

"We got outplayed and we got outcoached," Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said. "It's just that simple. It's a good football team, they came in here and they beat us."

Philip Rivers was sacked four times -- all in the second half -- and was under duress most of the night. The 37-year-old quarterback completed 23 of 37 passes for just 181 yards, with no touchdowns and two interceptions, ending a 26-game streak with at least a one touchdown pass.

"We didn't play as well as we have played," Rivers said. "And if we were going to have one like this, better now than later. But we've got to regroup, have a good week and then find out where we go on that first week in January."

With the loss, the Chargers dropped to 11-4 on the season, probably cementing the team's spot as the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs. The Ravens improved to 9-6 overall.

How bad were the Chargers on offense?

  • The Ravens held the Bolts to 72 total yards on offense in the first half, their fewest at halftime since Week 15 of 2012 (66 yards vs. the Panthers).

  • The Chargers finished 0-for-4 on third down offensively in the opening half but had penalties wipe out three third-down conversions.

  • The Chargers' first play in Ravens territory came at 1:04 of the second quarter.

  • Rivers' 57 first-half passing yards were his fewest since 2017 Week 1 at the Broncos (52).

  • The Chargers had 198 total yards, their fewest in a game since 2014 (a 37-0 loss at Miami).

Down 6-3 at halftime with the offense having stalled, the Chargers needed a play on defense to spark them. They got one on the opening play of the second half when defensive tackle Darius Philon forced Baltimore running back Kenneth Dixon to fumble and Melvin Ingram recovered.

Melvin Gordon gave the Chargers their first lead of the game three plays later on a 1-yard touchdown plunge.

However, the Ravens took the lead for good on the ensuing drive when Lamar Jackson hit tight end Mark Andrews for a 68-yard score, giving Baltimore a 13-10 lead.

A 56-yard field goal by Justin Tucker pushed Baltimore's advantage to 16-10 with 5:36 left in the third quarter.

Still down six points, the Chargers had a promising drive into Ravens territory end abruptly near the end of the game when tight end Antonio Gates was stripped of the ball by linebacker Patrick Onwuasor after a pass completion.

The loose ball was picked up by cornerback Tavon Young and returned 68 yards for a score.

While disappointed in the loss, Chargers defensive tackle Damion Square said he and his teammates had to move forward and get ready to face the Denver Broncos on the road in the team's final game of the regular season, even though the contest has no effect on the Bolts' playoff seeding.

"People watch tape," Square said. "You don't want to put anything on tape that exposes you. So you have to put great things on tape. ... As a defense and an offense, you have to go out and play a complete game."