LA Chargers can keep close tabs on Baltimore Ravens
Crunch playoff clash should go down to the wire
Sky Sports Action, 6.05pm Sunday
It was only two weeks ago when these two sides met in Los Angeles during the regular season, but don’t count on the result being the same.
Baltimore came out on top 22-10 in that game after some phenomenal plays from their defence that held Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers to just 181 passing yards while he threw two interceptions.
That same defence, the top-rated in the league, has been the driving force behind their success this season as they have won six of their last seven games, and there are plenty of reasons to fear John Harbaugh’s side in this game and beyond.
However, although the Chargers have reached the playoffs as fifth seeds, they ended the season with the joint-best record in the AFC, and missed out on being the top seed only because Kansas City had more wins in the division than they did.
People have been quick to downplay LA’s chances since that Baltimore loss but this is still a team who are more than capable of winning the Super Bowl, highlighted in their fourth-quarter comeback against the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in December.
In addition, having to play on the road throughout the playoffs is unlikely to have too much of an impact on Anthony Lynn’s side, whose home stadium holds just 27,000 people and even then is often filled with fans supporting the road team.
The return of Melvin Gordon will be a major boost for the Chargers, but what could really change things is the potential return of tight end Hunter Henry.
Henry missed the entire regular season after tearing his ACL last May, but it is rumoured that he could finally feature which would provide Rivers which another offensive threat to complement receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams.
There is bound to be a raucous atmosphere in Maryland and the Ravens have proved that they are far from pushovers, but the Chargers will not make things easy for them and this one could go down to the wire.
LA Chargers +3
2pts 19-20 Betway, BoyleSports
Venue M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland
Weather Sunny, 10C
Vegas handicap Baltimore -3
Vegas points line 41.5
Running back Austin Ekeler is expected to feature following a concussion and groin injury, while tight end Hunter Henry is currently a game-time decision.
Cornerback Tavon Young is questionable for the Ravens due to a groin injury.
The Chargers lost just once away from home all season.
Read Racing Post Sport every day for no-nonsense previews and expert sports betting tips
Follow us on Twitter @racingpostsport
Like us on Facebook RacingPostSport