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It's that simple. Yes, the Baltimore Ravens have a worse record (1-6) than the San Diego Chargers (2-5), and both teams have faced the same number of opponents with winning records (4). But let's dig into the Football Outsiders numbers....
- Baltimore is 18th in DVOA, San Diego is 24th
- Baltimore is 18th in DAVE, San Diego is 25th
- Baltimore's running offense is ranked 14th, San Diego's is 30th
- Baltimore's Special Teams are ranked 5th, San Diego's are 31st
- Baltimore's defense is ranked 23rd, San Diego's is 30th
In fact, if you look, there's really only one place where the Chargers are better than the Ravens, and that's in the passing game (specifically at the QB position). That is great and all, but that's been true in at least three of the Chargers' losses this year, including the shellacking they took from the Raiders at home last week.
Away Game / Early Game
Back to the numbers!
The Chargers have played 3 road games and 4 home games. They're 0-3 on the road and 2-2 at home.
The Ravens have played 5 road games and 2 home games. They're 1-4 on the road and 0-2 at home.
Not only will the Chargers be traveling across the country to play the Ravens, who are happy to see the brutal part of their schedule mostly over, but they'll be playing in that 10am PT timeslot that east coast teams are familiar with but west coast teams usually stink in.
Is this the week the Mike McCoy's group of guys finally figures out how to win on the road? Don't count on it.
A bunch more reasons
Oh, okay, let's just throw some quick ones down here.
- The Chargers are still good and banged up. It's not getting any better. Expect Eric Weddle and Orlando Franklin to miss Sunday's game, and for Manti Te'o and Antonio Gates to be either hobbled or on the sideline. Denzel Perryman won't play, along with (insert 15 minutes of rambling about injured players that don't matter....)
- The Chargers have absolutely quit on their coach. Sometimes a road game can help get that fixed, but a lot of times it only gets worse.
- After all the talk about why Melvin Gordon didn't play until the second half last week, and now that he's fully practicing, expect McCoy and Reich to make him a huge part of the gameplan. Considering the offense is worse when he's on the field, that's not a good thing for the Chargers.
- Donald Butler is still a starter, and with Perryman and Te'o likely missing this one, he's going to be on the field as much as humanly possible. Considering the defense is worse when he's on the field, that's not a good thing for the Chargers.
- Philip Rivers has been pretty poor on the road this year. Before going to Green Bay, he was turning the ball over twice per road game, and I would count on something closer to that happening rather than the miraculous and wonderful performance he put on display against the Packers.