Pass Rush Not Able To Pressure Rivers

Terrell Suggs said the loss was a ‘reality check’ and a butt-whooping.

Posted by Garrett Downing on Monday, December 19th, 2011 at 12:47 am | Categories: 2011 Season Gameday, Garrett Downing, Week 15 vs Chargers

Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs said before Sunday’s game against San Diego that if the Ravens weren’t able to get pressure on Philip Rivers, then “it’s going to be raining touchdowns.”

He was right.

Rivers was never sacked and had plenty of time to throw the football, as he torched the Ravens secondary in the Chargers 34-14 victory.

“This is a reality check,” Suggs said. “This is an [butt]-whooping.”

Rivers finished the day 17-of-23 passing with 270 yards and one touchdown. He was comfortable in the pocket and picked apart the Ravens defense in its worst showing of the season.

“They won some one-on-one matchups, they did a nice job picking up a couple pressures,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “Philip Rivers, I think, deserves a lot of credit for that. He’s a veteran quarterback; he knows how to get his protections organized.”

The Ravens came into the game leading the NFL with 45 sacks, but they were never able to sustain much pressure on Rivers, even when they did send blitzes.

As the Ravens’ pass rush struggled, the Chargers defense was able to get to quarterback Joe Flacco.

San Diego entered Sunday as one of the worst teams in the NFL at getting sacks, but the Chargers were able to come up with seven sacks (five on Flacco and two on backup Tyrod Taylor) and harassed Flacco all night. Former Ravens linebacker Antwan Barnes sacked Flacco a career-high four times.

On offense, however, the Chargers were able to keep Rivers upright, despite having a patched-together offensive line. They have cycled through 11 starters this year and their top left tackle and left guard are on injured reserve.

They recently signed former Raven Jared Gaither to take over as the starting left tackle, and he was in his third game with the team since getting cut by Kansas City earlier this year. Gaither spent much of the night lined up across from Suggs, but he held the Ravens’ top defender at bay. Suggs registered just two tackles and no sacks.

“It’s disappointing because we were prepared to have a great game,” Suggs said. “We knew what they were going to do and they just went out there and did it.”

The closest the Ravens came to recording a sack was in the second quarter when defensive end Cory Redding brought down Rivers, but the play ended up getting waived off because Suggs was flagged for a personal foul penalty for smacking an offensive lineman’s helmet.

“It was just a half second here, half-second there,” Redding said about not being able to get to Rivers. “We could have played better ball tonight with technique and fundamentals, but we didn’t get that job done.”

Rivers is as hot as any quarterback in the NFL, as he has thrown eight touchdowns and no interceptions in his last four games. He now has a 23-2 record in the month of December for his career.

“You can’t take anything from them,” Suggs said. “They went out there and executed and we didn’t.”

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