Below are 10 quick-hitting insights entering the Chargers’ first-round playoff matchup against the Baltimore Ravens:
1) In the last 10 NFL seasons – 120 playoff teams – there have been five 12-win wild-card teams. Los Angeles is the first since the 2016 Oakland Raiders. During that span, 78 percent of 12-win playoff teams have also won their division.
2) The Chargers’ last playoff win was five years ago on the road against an AFC North opponent. The Bolts beat the Cincinnati Bengals 27-10 on Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014 after losing to the Bengals at home the month before. Only six players on Los Angeles’ current active roster played in that game: Philip Rivers (QB), Keenan Allen (WR), Antonio Gates (TE), Melvin Ingram (DE), Jahleel Addae (S) and Mike Windt (LS).
3) Los Angeles finished the 2018 regular season with a 7-1 road record – tied with the New Orleans Saints for the best in the NFL. The Chargers are 8-0 when getting on a plane this season.
4) Dating back to 2017, Los Angeles has won its last four games in the Eastern time zone.
5) The Ravens are averaging 229.6 rushing yards per game in quarterback Lamar Jackson’s seven starts this season. Los Angeles hasn’t allowed a team to rush for 200-plus yards in 28 straight games.
6) The Chargers held Baltimore to 159 rushing yards in the first matchup between these two teams – the fewest allowed with Jackson under center. After rookie running back Gus Edwards’ 43-yard rush on the Ravens’ first play from scrimmage, Baltimore had just 116 yards on 34 carries (3.4 yards per carry).
7) In four of Jackson’s seven starts, Ravens tight end Mark Andrews has been the team’s leading receiver. Andrews scored a 68-yard touchdown against the Chargers last month.
8) The Ravens held the ball for 11:03 of the first quarter in Los Angeles. The Chargers have outscored their opponents 151-66 in the second quarter this season, but have been outscored 98-78 in the first.
9) Kicking could play a pivotal role in Sunday’s outcome. Baltimore’s Justin Tucker is 30-of-32 inside 50 yards this season. Los Angeles’ Michael Badgley is 14-of-14 inside 50. Tucker’s long this season is 56 yards; Badgley’s is 59.
10) Ahead of his first career playoff game, Pro Bowl safety Derwin James was named Defensive Rookie of the Year by Pro Football Focus. James finished the 2018 season as the team leader in tackles (105), passes defensed (13) and interceptions (3, tied with CB Desmond King).
Source: “Los Angeles” – Google News