The Los Angeles Chargers have wrapped up the 2018 NFL regular season and finished up the year with a Week 17 win over the Denver Broncos. Although the Chargers sit with an 11-5 record, they find themselves entering postseason play as the No. 5 seed. This comes due to the fact that they lost the tiebreaker in the AFC West to the Kansas City Chiefs.
While the Chargers’ record would have been good enough for a first-round bye in most cases, they now become one of the most dangerous teams in the wild-card round. They are also looking at the opportunity to get some revenge on a team that played a big role in ruining their chances at a division title.
Let’s take a look at the playoff schedule and matchup for the Chargers, as well as any updates on the time and date of the matchup.
Chargers to Draw Ravens to Start Playoffs
With the Baltimore Ravens holding off the Cleveland Browns in Week 17, it means they’ve locked up the No. 4 seed and it sets up a rematch of a primetime game from last week. The Ravens defeated the Chargers 22-10 in a game that we later found out would have placed Los Angeles atop the division.
In the previous matchup between the two teams, quarterback Philip Rivers struggled to protect the ball against a strong Baltimore defense, throwing two interceptions. He also posted a quarterback rating of just 51.7 while completing 23-of-37 passes.
Although Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson completed just 12 passes in that game, he totaled 204 passing yards, 39 rushing and one touchdown. The Baltimore defense was the real talking point, though, as they held a strong Chargers offense to just one touchdown.
As NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero revealed, the Chargers and Ravens matchup will be the first game on Sunday, January 6 with kickoff set for 1:05 p.m. EST.
Key Matchups to Watch
There’s no question that both how Rivers and running back Melvin Gordon fare against a stout Ravens defense will be key. Heading into Week 17, Baltimore had allowed just 85.1 rushing yards per game, ranking them No. 3 in the NFL. They had also given up 284.1 total yards per game, which was good for the least in the entire league.
On the opposite side, the Ravens offense with Jackson is a handful for any team. The rookie quarterback has the ability to take over games on the ground, as he’s rushed for 67 or more yards in six of the seven games he started this season. The one game he failed to hit that mark was against the Chargers, though, only adding to the intrigue.
Along with Jackson, the Baltimore running backs have stepped up in a big way as of late. While Gus Edwards rumbled for 92 yards on 14 carries in the first meeting between the two teams, they’ve gotten production from a variety of players. In the Week 17 win over the Browns, Kenneth Dixon ripped off 117 rushing yards on just 12 carries.