National Football League
Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens run rampant in big win over Los Angeles Chargers
National Football League

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens run rampant in big win over Los Angeles Chargers

Updated Oct. 17, 2021 6:35 p.m. ET

Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens made a big statement to the NFL on Sunday, thrashing the Los Angeles Chargers to the tune of 34-6 to move to 5-1 on the season.

A week removed from having their 43-game streak of rushing for 100-plus yards snapped, Baltimore's ground game ran roughshod on the visiting Chargers.

Coming into the week, the Chargers ranked last in the NFL in rushing defense, allowing 157.6 yards per game. It appears Ravens coach John Harbaugh was keenly aware of that fact, as the Ravens rumbled out to a 17-6 lead at halftime, with 115 rushing yards on 16 first-half carries for 7.2 yards per carry.


They added to that total after the break, finishing with 187 rushing yards on 38 attempts.

It was a communal effort on the ground from the Ravens, too, with no real standout contributor. All three running backs active for the team hit pay dirt, starting with Latavius Murray on Baltimore's opening drive.

Murray added 44 yards on nine attempts as Baltimore spread the wealth in its rushing attack. Le'Veon Bell, who finished the day with 18 rushing yards on eight carries, followed Murray's lead on Baltimore's second possession, scoring a TD to put the Ravens up 14-0 prior to the end of the first quarter.

Later in the game, Devonta Freeman — Baltimore's leading rusher for the game, with 53 yards on nine attempts — scooted in on a speed-option play from Jackson in the third quarter to bump the score to 34-6.

Of course, Jackson got in on the act, too, scampering for 51 yards on eight totes. He also completed 70.4% of his 27 pass attempts for 167 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

That dominance in the ground game helped the Ravens gain a massive edge in time of possession, controlling the ball for 38:07 compared to 21:53 for Los Angeles.

So, too, did a relentless defense that kept Chargers phenom Justin Herbert on his toes all day. Herbert averaged 315.2 passing yards per game and held a 104.7 passer rating through the first five weeks of the season, but Baltimore held him to 195 air yards and a 67.8 passer rating. Both totals are season lows for Herbert, who also threw his first interception since Week 2.

Further complicating matters for the Chargers were a pair of unsuccessful gambles from coach Brandon Staley. The Chargers came into the game with a 7-for-8 conversion rate on fourth down, but they went 1-for-4 against Baltimore.

Two of the failed fourth-down attempts, on either side of halftime, really hurt the Chargers. Down 17-0, Los Angeles went for it on fourth-and-3 from its own 39 in the second quarter and came up empty. Then, on fourth-and-1 from their 19-yard line in the third and down 24-6, the Chargers again failed to convert.

Following both of those fourth-down stops, the Ravens successfully kicked field goals.

All in all, it was a comprehensive effort from the Ravens as they won their fifth straight game after losing in OT in Week 1 at Las Vegas.

In the ultra-competitive AFC North, each win is paramount, and not all of them have been pretty for Baltimore in the first half of the season.

But for the Ravens, taking down another AFC powerhouse in the Chargers proves yet again that when they're at their best, they can run with the best in the league.


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