The San Diego Chargers needed a victory on Sunday Night Football against the Baltimore Ravens to keep their playoff hopes alive and get back to .500 on the season. Philip Rivers and his running backs made sure that would happen, too, as the Chargers defeated the Ravens by way of a 34-14 final score.
Rivers was excellent for the Chargers, finishing with 270 yards and a touchdown while managing the offense quite well as San Diego scored on its first five possessions -- a feat that had never before been accomplished against the Ravens. It was Rivers' running backs that provided the majority of the scoring, however, as Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert made the Ravens' vaunted defense look ancient.
Mathews finished the game with 26 carries for 90 yards and a pair of touchdowns while Tolbert carried the ball eight times for 40 yards and a score of his own. All three of their touchdowns came from just a few yards out, but Tolbert's celebration following his touchdown was memorable as he seemed to attempt a truffle shuffle in the end zone.
The Ravens actually looked fine in the box score as Joe Flacco threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns while completing 23 of his 34 passing attempts, but a pair of ill-timed interceptions allowed the Chargers to continue running up the score. Running back Ray Rice was also a bit of a non-factor in the blowout, too, as he rushed just 10 times for 57 yards.
The Chargers now move higher in their battle for an AFC Wild Card berth in the playoffs with games at the Detroit Lions and Oakland Raiders left while the Ravens will finish their season with games against the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals -- a team that's still fighting for a playoff spot of its own.