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Chargers Dominated in All Three Phases by the Ravens

Chargers couldn't do anything on Sunday.

Coming into Sunday's game, it felt like a shootout would take place because of the quarterbacks featured in the matchup. Instead, the Baltimore Ravens took it to the Chargers 34-6 in a one-sided affair.

The Chargers had to punt on their first three offensive series. At the same time, Lamar Jackson had the Ravens offense rolling.

On their first drive, out of the 12 plays, they had positive yards in eleven of them. Their offense was running well on first down all game setting up second-and manageable. A Latavius Murray 14-yard run capped off the first drive.

"I felt like we hung tough in that first half, kind of with the momentum a little bit towards the end of the half, and then we weren't able to be consistent enough in all three phases today," Staley said.

On the second drive, the Ravens offense came out with the same exact blueprint. Run the ball and get a manageable second down. When the Ravens got on the Chargers side of the field, their offense got a holding call, so they had first-and 20, but Jackson was able to pick it up with his legs with a 22-yard burst. The drive was finished off by a Le'Veon Bell two-yard rushing touchdown putting them up 14-0.

"We just got to be better," safety Derwin James said. "We can't wait until it's 14-0. From the start, get a turnover. Get a three and out (to) get the ball to Herbert."

All season, when the Chargers have had their backs against the wall on fourth down, they had gone 7/7 with their offense being on the field. Being down 14-0, they tried it from their own 29-yard line, and it was a bad pass and catch attempt combo from Justin Herbert/receiver Mike Williams.

It was a tough day for Herbert. He dropped back 39 times, and rarely did he not face pressure from a Raven defender. He wasn't his usual MVP-caliber self.

"They drew a lot of good things on defense," Herbert said. "We got outplayed today. We didn't execute the way we wanted to. We didn't move the ball. We didn't convert on third down."

Herbert had made a couple of throws on their fifth drive, and when he hits tight end Jared Cook, the ball slides into DeShon Elliott's hands for the interception.

"I thought he hung tough," Staley said. "We need to do a better job playing around him. Those guys did a good job covering today, and I felt like they had a good pressure plan."

One play later, Chargers linebacker Kyzir White intercepted a pass by Jackson giving the ball to the offense on the Ravens 27-yard line. It was one of White's two interceptions on the day.

Herbert hit Williams for the 26-yard reception and that was the only 20-yard plus play of the game. A Cook touchdown catch finished off the drive.

This was the only scoring drive the offense could muster up in the game.

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Coming out of halftime, the plan was obviously to try to stop Jackson and the offense the way they had towards the end of the half, but easier said than done.

Jackson and the offense came out doing what made them successful in the first half: running the football. The Ravens had three runs on first down on the opening drive of the half for six, five, and seven yards. A Mark Andrews nine-yard touchdown reception finished off the drive.

The Chargers couldn't stop the player running the football, whether it was Jackson, Murray, Bell, Devonta Freeman, or Devin Duvernay. The Ravens ran the ball 38 times for 187 yards and three touchdowns. It looked like Freeman, Murray, and Bell had turned back the clocks of time the way they ran the football.

"They outplayed us and out coached us today," Staley said. "But I know that we played six really good teams. We are 4-2. We beat four really good teams, and we've lost to two really good teams. That's what I told the team, I think, where we need to go as we need to learn from this game because there's plenty in this game that we need to learn from."

After that, the Chargers offense couldn't do anything with drives of nine, zero, 38, and 18 yards the rest of the game.

It was rare to see because of the way this team had been winning. They had scored a lot of points on offense and played "bend don't break" defense, but today was different.

The Ravens got everything they wanted on offense while their defense was able to take the ball out of Herbert's hands.

Sometimes in tough games, a quarterback can look for his play-making receivers to get out of a funk, but through almost three quarters, Keenan Allen only had one catch, which he had on the opening drive.

"They did a good job of doubling him and finding our matchups," Herbert said. "I need to do a better job of continuing to go through those reads."

Both the Chargers offensive and defensive line were dominated on Sunday. The offensive line and the backs couldn't pick up the blitzing that the Ravens defense threw at them. The Chargers defensive line wasn't able to get any push to help stop the run at critical times.

This was a punch in the mouth. Maybe a much-needed punch in the mouth. The Chargers barely escaped the Cleveland Browns last week due to the inability to stop the run.

"Being 4-2, we're not mad at the world," James said. "The world is not over. It's a lot of football still left to be played."

After the bye week, this team will face the New England Patriots, who manhandled the Chargers last season in a 45-0 debacle. The players will get away for a couple of days and then come back to see if they can bounce back.

"It's a long season," Herbert said. "We have to come back from it, and we'll be back next week, unfortunately, we have a bye but plenty of film to watch. Another week to get better and to get your legs back, so we got New England in two weeks."