Football Pick: Baltimore Ravens @ San Diego Chargers Preview

Potential AFC playoff mates meet at Qualcomm Stadium in what will almost certainly be the final home game for Norv Turner, as his San Diego Chargers play host to the Baltimore Ravens.

The Ravens will know by the time this one kicks off just how important the duel really is. Though the Pittsburgh Steelers are yet to play, if the New England Patriots drop to the Denver Broncos earlier in the day, Baltimore will know that it controls its own destiny for the No. 1 seed in the AFC once and for all, something that no team knows coming into this week. The Ravens have won four in a row, and they have won their last three all by double digits. Their only losses are on the road this year, and that is bad news in general for a team that still has a roadie here at Qualcomm Stadium and one against the Cincinnati Bengals left this year. The road has been generally unkind to RB Ray Rice as well, and it seems as though the team goes with his success or failure. The back out of Rutgers only had one game with more than 50 yards on the ground before the game at the Cleveland Browns two weeks ago when he rumbled for a whopping 204 yards and a TD. He’s going against a rush defense that ranks No. 24 in football this year, so he could be in for another big time day.

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This is what the season is going to come down to for the Chargers. They are going to hope that the New York Jets lose earlier in the day, and they would ideally like to see all of the 7-6 teams in front of them go down as well. If that’s the case, a win would leave them just a game back of the Wild Card slot with two to play. It would also really help out if the Denver Broncos would lose to the New England Patriots. That could pull the Bolts back within one of the AFC West lead as well. That being said, this team has to really put together some strong efforts to get the job done and get into the postseason, and for the most part, it just doesn’t feel like it is going to happen that way. Perhaps these two straight wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills were a stepping stone towards getting into the playoffs again; after all, this is the time of year that San Diego generally starts to wake up. That being said, save for a game against the Kyle Orton-led Broncos back in Week 5, San Diego hasn’t beaten a team this year that is going to finish anywhere near the playoffs, and we all know that the Orton Broncos and the Tebow Broncos are two totally different teams.

Baltimore Ravens @ San Diego Chargers Trends: These two teams don’t play each other all that often. Dating back to 1995, the home team is 6-2 ATS in this series. Though the last two meetings have gone past the ‘total’, the previous five all stayed ‘under’, and most stayed well beneath the ‘total’. The Ravens are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 played on grass.

Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.