Kickoff: 8:20 p.m., Sunday SoFi Stadium
TV: WBAL Channel 11 (Baltimore), WRC Channel 4 (Washington), NBC national broadcast and more. Mike Tirico (play-by-play), Jason Garrett (analyst), Melissa Stark (sideline)
Radio: WBAL 1090 AM & 98 Rock 97.9 FM, Sirius XM Chs. 81 or 226. Ravens crew Gerry Sandusky (play-by-play), Rod Woodson (analyst). Westwood One Sports, Ryan Radtke (play-by-play), Kurt Warner (analyst)
Baltimore leads the all-time series, 8-6, including regular season and playoffs. Their last meeting was in 2021, when the Ravens rolled to a 34-6 victory at M&T Bank Stadium. Lamar Jackson completed 19 of 27 for 167 yards and threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Mark Andrews early in the third quarter that gave Baltimore a 24-6 lead. The Chargers offense entered the game one of the best in the league, but the Ravens held Justin Herbert to 195 yards, one touchdown, and one interception and the Ravens limited the Chargers to 208 yards total offense.
The Ravens are the top seed in the AFC and want to remain there heading into their bye in Week 13. A victory would keep Baltimore ahead of the Browns (7-3) in the highly competitive AFC North. The Chargers (4-6) have dropped two straight and are trying to climb out of the AFC West basement. Their playoff hopes have been damaged and they need a win against a quality opponent.
How will the Ravens cope without Mark Andrews?
This will be Baltimore’s first game since Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews’ ankle injury that required surgery. The Ravens have never gone a prolonged period without Andrews (45 catches, 544 yards, six touchdowns) since he entered the NFL in 2018. Second-year tight ends Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar will have larger roles, but all the Ravens’ playmakers will need to step up to fill the major void left by Andrews.
Can Baltimore’s defense contain Herbert?
Herbert is a gifted passer who can carry an offense. He’s only thrown one interception in his last 146 attempts, with nine touchdowns passes and one interception over the last four games. The Ravens’ last defeat came against a hot Browns quarterback, Deshaun Watson, who didn’t throw an incompletion in the second half. Baltimore leads the NFL in sacks, and they’ll need to generate pressure against Herbert, who’s adept at escaping pass rushers. Even if Baltimore keeps Herbert in check for long stretches, he’s capable of making big plays that can change the game’s momentum quickly.
Can Baltimore sustain its momentum after a rare three-game homestand?
The Ravens haven’t played a road game since Oct. 29, and it’s going to take a strong effort to beat the Chargers on their home field. Baltimore is 4-1 on the road this year and has done well on long trips, winning in London against the Titans and in Arizona against the Cardinals. Baltimore is looking forward to its bye in Week 13, but winning on “Sunday Night Football” against the Chargers would make the Ravens’ time off even sweeter.
Players to Watch
CB Brandon Stephens
Chargers wide receiver Keenan Allen leads the NFL in targets (113) and receptions (83), presenting a major challenge for Stephens, who relishes matchups against the league’s top playmakers. Stephens has become the Ravens’ most reliable cornerback this season, and after containing Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase in Week 11, Stephens can raise his profile in primetime with a strong game against Allen.
QB Lamar Jackson
The Chargers rank last in the league in pass defense and both Jared Goff and Jordan Love have thrown for over 300 yards against them over the last two weeks. Now Jackson will get his turn to test the Chargers, who will be without All-Pro edge rusher Joey Bosa, who’s on injured reserve (foot). Even without Andrews in the lineup, Jackson could have a big night against the Chargers if they can’t generate a consistent pass rush.
DL Justin Madubuike
Herbert isn’t easy to pin in the pocket, but Madubuike is having a monster season with a career-best 9.5 sacks and 18 quarterback hits. Madubuike often brings pressure straight up the middle, which can be the toughest for quarterbacks to deal with. Even when the Ravens can’t sack Herbert, they’ll hope Madubuike and company can disrupt his rhythm.