Chargers Offense Best Ravens Have Faced

John Harbaugh believes facing ‘clicking’ Chargers may help them come playoff time.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Monday, December 19th, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Categories: Ryan Mink, Week 15 vs Chargers

The Ravens had breakdowns in their secondary Sunday night. There’s no doubt about that.

But don’t discount how well the Chargers offense played either.

San Diego Head Coach Norv Turner and his players unanimously said that was the most complete game they played all season. The Chargers are riding a three-game win streak in which they’ve averaged more than 34 points per game.

After watching film on the flight back to Baltimore, Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh was duly impressed.

“The Chargers played exceptionally well,” Harbaugh said in his Monday press conference.

“That’s the first time we’ve probably gone against an offense that was clicking that way all year. It’s the first time those guys have seen that caliber of quarterback play.”

The Ravens have played other top quarterbacks – such as Houston’s Matt Schaub and Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger – but none that played as well as Rivers did, Harbaugh said.

Rivers, who topped 4,000 passing yards this season during the game, threw for 270 yards and a touchdown while completing 74 percent of his passes. His 6-foot-5 wide receivers Vincent Jackson and Malcom Floyd and tight end Antonio Gates went up and made plays for him.

Both wideouts got behind starting cornerbacks of Cary Williams and rookie first rounder Jimmy Smith.

“I think most any corner in this league would have had a tough time last night under the circumstances,” Harbaugh said.

The silver lining, in Harbaugh’s eyes, is that Sunday’s letdown could help Baltimore in the playoffs.

The Ravens, who are currently the No. 5 seed, could be looking at early postseason games against San Diego, Houston, New England or Pittsburgh if they aren’t able to win the AFC North.

The secondary is young outside with Lardarius Webb, 26, Williams, 27, and Smith, 23. Harbaugh called them all quick learners.

“That’s a big learning experience for us and that’s going to be an opportunity for us going into the playoffs to become the kind of coverage team we’re going to need to be,” Harbaugh said.

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