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Philip Rivers is known for starting slow, but taking over and finishing in the fourth quarter. Including last week’s come-from-behind win, Rivers boasts 10 fourth quarter comebacks. But he couldn’t do it when Ray Lewis and the Ravens came to town.
Down 31-26 late in the fourth quarter, the Chargers needed a touchdown to win the game. Rivers and company marched 58 yards to the Ravens’ 15. The Bolts faced a fourth-and-two situation with 37 seconds left. Needing a touchdown to win the game, Norv Turner decided to attack the strength of the Ravens’ defense by handing the ball off to Darren Sproles up the middle. Lewis met the 5-6, 185-pound running back behind the line of scrimmage and dropped him for a five-yard loss.
The Ravens were leading the game by five points and had the ball on the San Diego 30 with 11:24 left in the fourth quarter. Hoping to convert on third down and eight, LB Shawne Merriman ran clean past LT Jared Gaither and hit QB Joe Flacco. Trying to avoid the sack, Flacco threw the ball intended for Todd Heap, but it was intercepted by Antonie Cason, who returned it 20 yards to the San Diego 44.
On a series where the Ravens wanted to push their lead to 12, Merriman and Cason took the wind out of Baltimore’s sails. The play eventually led to a San Diego field goal. A 10-point swing.