San Diego Chargers at Baltimore Ravens (-4, 45.5 o/u)
Sunday’s week 13 matchup between the San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Ravens (1:00 p.m. Eastern on CBS) may not be an elimination game, but it will go a long way in determining who makes the playoffs in the AFC.
Both teams stand at 7-4 in very competitive divisions. As such, the loser of Sunday’s game will be behind the eight-ball.
The visiting Chargers have a tough task ahead, as the Ravens have won their last four games at home. Making matters worse for the Chargers, Sunday’s game is just the first of five straight against plus-.500 teams.
“We feel like we’re in playoff mode right now because every team we’re going to be playing the rest of the season feels they can’t lose a game the rest of the season just to try to keep their playoff hopes alive,” explained cornerback Brandon Flowers.
“I guess it’s good in a sense. We don’t have any so-called trap games. Every team is coming in trying to win a game, so we’re going to feel like we have to give every team our best shot and we’re going to get everybody’s best shot.”
Coming off a Monday night win in New Orleans, the Ravens seem to be hitting their stride heading into the latter part of the season.
Baltimore’s offense has been bolstered by running back Justin Forsett, who has 903 rushing yards on the season, including a career-high 182 yards in the win over the Saints. After bouncing around between Seattle, Indy, Houston, and Jacksonville, the 29-year-old back has resurrected his career in Baltimore.
“It’s crazy, man. You think about where I was this time last year, mostly doing a lot of scout team work and coming in (to play) every once in a while … To just get the opportunity when I thought I would never get it again, it’s a blessing,” said Forsett.
Forsett is likely to see a heavy workload on Sunday as the Chargers are top-ten against the pass (allowing a shade over 220 yards per game) but middle-of-the-pack against the run (allowing almost 110 per contest).
Baltimore is currently a four-point favorite for Sunday. The over/under is at 45.5.
(Photo credit: Original: Keith Allison; derivative: Diddykong1130 (Justin Forsett) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)