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(Sunday, December 18th)
Final Score: San Diego 34, Baltimore 14
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - Philip Rivers threw for 270 yards and a touchdown, and Ryan Mathews rushed for 90 yards and two scores as the San Diego Chargers took a 34-14 decision over the Baltimore Ravens.
Rivers completed 17-of-23 passes, including a 28-yard touchdown to Malcom Floyd, in the Chargers' (7-7) third straight victory after a six-game losing streak. The Chargers are now tied with Oakland for second place in the AFC West and sit a game back of Denver for the top spot in the division.
"It was good to win a big game like this at home against a good team," Rivers said. "It was a rough six-game stretch, but we hung tight together and have now fought our way back to .500 with two to play. We're still alive."
Joe Flacco went 23-for-34 through the air for 226 yards and two scores, but was intercepted twice in the third quarter as the Ravens (10-4) had their four-game win streak snapped.
Baltimore was guaranteed a playoff spot prior to the game, though, thanks to losses by the Jets and Titans earlier on Sunday.
Ray Rice carried the ball 10 times for 57 yards while also hauling in nine passes for 55 yards in a losing effort.
Baltimore received the ball first and quickly moved down the field on a 22- yard run by Rice and a 33-yard reception by Anquan Boldin, but the drive stalled at the San Diego 18 and Billy Cundiff's 36-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right.
The Chargers then marched down the field in 11 plays, converting the lone third down they saw with a nine-yard grab by Randy McMichael before Mike Tolbert capped the drive by rumbling into the end zone from two yards out.
Baltimore responded with a 13-play, 75-yard drive that stretched into the second quarter to tie the game at 7-7. Rice carried the load on the march, reeling off six runs for 30 yards before Flacco found Ed Dickson for a 15-yard score.
But San Diego scored on its next two possessions to take a 17-7 lead into halftime.
Nick Novak split the uprights from 45 yards out to put the Chargers up by three before Vincent Jackson's 58-yard reception down the left sideline set up Mathews' one-yard TD run in the final minute of the second quarter.
The Chargers continued to roll in the second half, as they scored 17 straight points while intercepting Flacco twice.
Rivers finalized an eight-play, 80-yard drive to open the third quarter by dropping a pass over Floyd's shoulder in the right side of the end zone for a 28-yard score.
The Ravens then drove into San Diego territory to try and answer, but Flacco failed to see Chargers linebacker Takeo Spikes on a pass over the middle and Spikes picked the ball off, returning it across midfield.
The turnover resulted in Mathews leaping over the line of scrimmage and into the end zone for a three-yard touchdown and a 31-7 Chargers lead.
Three plays later, San Diego's Shaun Phillips grabbed a short pass intended for Rice at the Baltimore 27, but Novak's 37-yard field goal try bounced off the right upright to keep the score the same.
Novak's 28-yard kick was true on the Chargers' next touch to put San Diego up by 27 before a 36-yard catch-and-run by the Ravens' Torrey Smith late in the game accounted for the final margin.
"We did not play particularly well at all. I think the mistakes we made they were able to capitalize on and turn them into points, especially early on," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said. "We're disappointed but we're moving on."
The all-time series between the teams is now tied at 4-4...The Chargers defense racked up seven sacks, while Baltimore did not sack Rivers once...San Diego's Antwan Barnes had four sacks...Baltimore running back Ricky Williams carried the ball three times for 20 yards, leaving him 64-yards shy of 10,000 career yards...Rivers improved to 23-2 in December in his career...Mathews' 90 yards gave him 1,033 for the season, surpassing 1,000 yards for the first time in his career.
12/19 01:15:43 ET
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