Ravens Roost

September 19, 2009 2:43 AM

Ravens face first big test in San Diego

I've heard many people say that the Ravens win against the Chiefs wasn't such a big deal, after all it was only the Chiefs and that didn't count for much. I beg to differ, Kansas City has a whole new scheme this season and a new coach who had them playing for 60 minutes. There is no such thing as a push over in the NFL.  But for those in doubt of the Ravens abilities this coming game against the Chargers should either bolster their argument, or make them admit that this team is for real.

At the moment the current odds show the Chargers as 3 point favorites, which means the game is pretty much too close to call. These two teams match up well against each other and this contest has all the makings of a real slug fest. Ladanian Thomlinson won't be active for this game so Darren Sproles will be the feature back for the Chargers. Sproles is dangerous both as a running back and a kick returner so containing him will be the Ravens number one priority. While I'm fairly certain that the Ravens defense can hold him in check I'm not so sure if the special teams will be able to. He could be a difference maker in this game.

However the Ravens had to notice the ease at which the Oakland Raiders had running against the Chargers defense and should be able to have quite an effective running game of their own with their vaunted three headed monster. I don't believe you'll be seeing Joe Flacco throwing 40 plus passes this week, unless the game is getting out of reach for the Ravens. I can see Cam Cameron mixing up the passing plays effectively while relying on the running game as his primary offensive weapon.

Defensively the Ravens need to put some serious pressure on Phillip Rivers and can't allow him to get into any kind of rhythm. Rivers is a good quarterback but if you rattle him he gets off his game. He's also a trash talking quarterback, something I wouldn't suggest he do against this Ravens defense because if they take it personally it could be lights out for Rivers. I would also expect to see the Ravens defense gang tackling Sproles to slow him down throughout the game and take his heart away. 

The Chargers are 20-4 at Qualcomm Stadium since 2006, so they definitely have a huge home field advantage. but instead of looking at the number 20 Raven fans need to look at the number 4. No team is perfect, at home or away, so while San Diego may be favored it's not like the Ravens have no chance at all. These are two evenly matched teams and whichever one can run the ball effectively and put pressure the opposing quarterback should come out on top.

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