San Diego has lost three of their last four contests since their bye week, and, at 4-6, are on the brink of falling out of playoff contention in the AFC. The Ravens, on the other hand, own the conference's second-best record at 8-2, and have won three-straight games since their respective bye in Week 8.
Meet the San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are currently in the eighth seed in the AFC, tied at 4-6 with four other teams in the conference. They missed their chance to even the season series with the Denver Broncos in Week 11, losing on the road, 30-23. In their last two contests, the San Diego defense has allowed totals of 34 and 30 points.
Quarterback Philip Rivers is ninth in the league in passing touchdowns, with 17, but has also thrown 14 interceptions to go along with 2,461 passing yards. With an average of 328.8 total yards of offense per game, the Chargers rank 23rd overall in the NFL.
Meet the Baltimore Ravens
Baltimore is coming off a black-and-blue win on the road over their division rival Steelers, 13-10, last Sunday night, and they'll face the same Pittsburgh team in Week 13. Defensively, the Ravens give up 382.3 yards per game, which ranks 25th in the league, but their average of 20.6 points allowed per game is good for ninth in the NFL.
Additionally, Baltimore thrives off of taking the ball away, with the AFC's second-best turnover rate of plus-12. Quarterback Joe Flacco has thrown seven interceptions to go along with 13 touchdown passes and 2,495 passing yards so far this season.
Local Takes: Chargers
Richard Wade from Bolts From The Blue wonders if it might be time for Chargers fans to look towards the future:
"The offense wasn't able to mount a scoring drive again until it was too late and the team's last chance to win was gone just like that. Ultimately, the game wasn't nearly as close as the (not even all that close) final score. Chargers fans are at the point of looking to next year now. Who are your top choices for GM and Head Coach right now?"
Local Takes: Ravens
Bruce Raffel from Baltimore Beat Down says the Ravens' defense may have different players, but still makes big plays:
"Opponents still fear the Ravens and despite the loss of Ray Lewis and others, the Ravens defense is always a threat to create game-changing turnovers regardless of what the names on the backs of the jerseys say. Just ask guys named Johnson, Graham and Ihedigbo."
Follow the Fun
Add these fine follows to your Twitter timeline:
Who really cares if Ravens keep winning ugly? baltimorebeatdown.com/2012/11/18/366…— Bruce Raffel (@BaltimoreBeatdo) November 19, 2012
@UTgehlken - Chargers beat writer Michael Gehlken.
Chargers must sell about 10,000 general tickets to lift local blackout of Sunday's game against Ravens, per team spokesman.— Michael Gehlken (@UTgehlken) November 19, 2012
@jamisonhensley - Jamison Hensley, ESPN.com AFC North blogger, former Ravens beat reporter for The Baltimore Sun.
Ravens take control of division with defense espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/…— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) November 19, 2012
It's gotta be so hard to be a Chargers fan. You have a quarterback that everyone thinks is your franchise guy, the one to lead you to the promised land. But then you point out that the same quarterback leads the league in turnovers since last season. Baltimore's defense will prey on Rivers and his interceptions.
The pick: 30-20, Ravens
Despite San Diego opening the week as 1½-point favorites, according to OddsShark, the line has since shifted to even odds for Sunday's game. The over/under point total began at 47 for the contest, and that's where it still remains.
The Chargers stay in San Diego in Week 13, as they host the Cincinnati Bengals on late Sunday afternoon. Baltimore, on the other hand, faces their bitter division rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers, for the second time in three weeks, this time at home in a late Sunday afternoon contest.