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National Football League
Preview
San Diego at Baltimore
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, November 30, 2014
Where: M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland


The San Diego Chargers close the regular season with a brutal five-game stretch and have little margin for error if they want to make the playoffs for the second straight year. The Chargers have won two straight games, but their final five contests come against teams with a combined 38-17 record - including three road contests - beginning with Sunday's game at the Baltimore Ravens. "We feel like we're in playoff mode right now because every team we're going to be playing the rest of the season feels they can't lose a game the rest of the season just to try to keep their playoff hopes alive," cornerback Brandon Flowers said earlier this week.

Baltimore also has won back-to-back contests to move into playoff contention, but its season-ending stretch appears much more forgiving than that of San Diego. The Ravens won at New Orleans on Monday night thanks to 182 yards and two touchdowns from running back Justin Forsett, and the team ranks sixth in the NFL in rushing despite the absence of Ray Rice, their leading rusher each of the last five seasons. "Justin (has done an) awesome job, obviously, all year," Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco said. "The work he's putting in, the results he's getting and what he's doing for this team was huge."

TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Ravens -5.5. O/U: 46

ABOUT THE CHARGERS (7-4): Since winning versus Seattle and at Buffalo, San Diego has posted its next five victories against league bottom-feeders in Jacksonville, the New York Jets, Oakland twice and St. Louis. Philip Rivers was 29-of-35 for 291 yards in Sunday's 27-24 victory over the Rams while Keenan Allen (six catches, 104 yards) found the end zone for just the second time this season after racking up eight TDs as a rookie. Veteran tight end Antonio Gates has been quiet the last three games (eight receptions, 74 yards, no TDs) after a four-game stretch in which he totaled 15 grabs for 202 yards and six scores.

ABOUT THE RAVENS (7-4): Flacco completed 75 percent of his passes against the Saints, threw one touchdown and did not have an interception for the second straight game. Forsett needs 93 yards for his first career 1,000-yard season and has two touchdowns in each of his last two games after totaling three TDs in his first nine games of 2014. Perhaps the biggest cause for concern for the Ravens at the moment is a pass defense that gave up 420 yards on Monday night and ranks 29th in the league, allowing 264.6 yards per game.

EXTRA POINTS

1. The Ravens are 4-0 against the putrid NFC South while going 3-4 against every other division.

2. Flacco is aiming for his third straight interception-free game for the first time since 2010.

3. Thirty-nine NFL quarterbacks have thrown a pass of at least 51 yards this season, but not Rivers, whose long is 50 yards in a win over the Jets on Oct. 5.

PREDICTION: Chargers 27, Ravens 26
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
San Diego 7-4 W2 22.3 19.6 5-1 2-3 6-4 1-0 0-0 2-2 5-3
Baltimore 7-4 W2 26.8 18.9 4-1 3-3 2-1 5-3 0-0 2-3 3-4
Last Meeting
San Diego Baltimore
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/25/12 BAL 16 SD 13 280 91 189 443 127 316
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
San Diego P. Rivers 63.9 228 1 0
Baltimore J. Flacco 58.8 355 1 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
San Diego R. Mathews 19 72 3.8 0
Baltimore R. Rice 22 97 4.4 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
San Diego D. Alexander 5 74 14.8 0
Baltimore T. Smith 7 144 20.6 0
Touchdowns Player TD
San Diego M. Floyd 1
Baltimore D. Pitta 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
San Diego P. Rivers 68.3 2835 22 9
Baltimore J. Flacco 63.2 2764 18 8
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
San Diego B. Oliver 117 424 3.6 2
Baltimore J. Forsett 155 903 5.8 7
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
San Diego K. Allen 61 641 10.5 2
Baltimore S. Smith 53 817 15.4 5
Touchdowns Player TD
San Diego A. Gates 9
Baltimore J. Forsett 7