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2023 NFL Week 12 Preview: Baltimore Ravens vs. Los Angeles Chargers

Justin Herbert has played in just one playoff game in four seasons in the NFL. That is a statement that will always amaze me. With the Los Angeles Chargers now sitting at 4-6, the 25-year-old is in jeopardy of missing the postseason once again. Fresh off a crushing 23-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers, it was the fifth time in which Los Angeles has lost by three or fewer points this season. Unable to get off the field late, Brandon Staley's defense allowed Jordan Love to eclipse 300 yards for the first time in his young career. Meanwhile, despite ranking 2nd in the league in red zone touchdown percentage, the team managed just six points on their first three trips inside the 20-yard line.

Winners of six of their last seven games, the Baltimore Ravens bounced back from their narrow loss to the Cleveland Browns with a win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football. Lamar Jackson completed 16 of his 26 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns, including a 37-yard strike to Nelson Agholor. Joe Burrow was forced to leave the contest with a right wrist injury. Hitting and harassing backup quarterback Jake Browning all game long, Mike McDonald's defense racked up five sacks to increase their league-leading total to 44. Now in sole possession of the number one seed in the AFC, Baltimore will look for its seventh win in its last 11 games against the Chargers while remaining on an inside track for home-field advantage in January.

Baltimore Ravens

One of the most dynamic offenses across the NFL, the Ravens rank first in the NFL in rushing yards per game (155.1) and fourth in points per game (27.6). Guided by Jackson's play, the former MVP has blossomed under first-year offensive coordinator Todd Monken. Operating more efficiently than ever, the former Heisman Trophy winner has improved his accuracy in the quick passing game while pushing the ball downfield more routinely. Remaining one of the front runners for the league's MVP Award, he leads all quarterbacks in completion percentage (71.5) and rushing yards (440). Receiving positive news on the injury front this week, Ronnie Stanley returned to practice after missing last week's matchup with a knee injury. Meanwhile, Zay Flowers is set to play, while Odell Beckham Jr. remains a game-time decision.

Now in his second year at the helm as defensive coordinator, Mcdonald has helped transform the group into one of the most dominant units in the league. With a focus on not giving up the big play, his advanced scheme has allowed the Ravens to stymie some of the NFL's most explosive offenses. Through 11 weeks, they rank second in yards per play (4.2), fourth in passing yards per game (169.7), and opponent completion percentage (59.95). Furthermore, the team has gotten more out of less upfront with its pass-rushing group. The league leader with 44 sacks, Baltimore has four players with four or more quarterback takedowns and double-digit pressures.

Los Angeles Chargers

Regardless of their 4-6 start, the Chargers offense remains littered with talent while scoring points in bunches. On pace for a career season at 31 years old, Keenan Allen has racked up 83 receptions for 1,011 yards and seven touchdowns through ten weeks. He has already eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the fifth time in six seasons. However, the franchise has struggled to fill the void left by the injured Mike Williams after he went down for the season due to an ACL injury. Set to face a significant test against a stout defensive front, one matchup to match in this one will be in the middle. Amid a breakout season in his fourth year in the league, defensive tackle Justin Madubuike leads all interior defensive linemen with 9.5 sacks, leaving him half a sack short of becoming the first Ravens player to reach double digits in six seasons.

Staley's seat is continuing to get warmer and warmer. Nonetheless, the 40-year-old reaffirmed that he would continue to call plays on defense. Coming off a loss to the Detroit Lions in which they surrendered 533 yards and five touchdowns, this was the second time the Chargers gave up 500-plus yards this season. Also, Los Angeles has allowed five quarterbacks to pass for 300 yards against them, the latest being Love. Making matters worse for the team, they will be without star pass rusher Joey Bosa for the next few weeks. The former NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year was carted off the field against the Packers after suffering a foot injury.

Game Info

Date: Sunday, November 26

Start Time: 8:20 PM EST

Location: Inglewood, CA

Stadium: SoFi Stadium

TV Info: NBC (Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth on the call)

Betting Odds

Points Spread: BAL -3.0 (-110) | LA +3.0 (-110)

Moneyline: BAL -160 | LA +140

Over/Under: O 48.0 (-110) | U 48.0 (-110)

Taking a look at the three-point spread, take the Ravens to cover. Lauded by many as the best team in the NFL, they rank in the top five in both offensive and defensive DVOA. Additionally, with the fourth-hardest remaining schedule in the league, the group must continue to rack up victories as they chase the number one seed in the AFC. Examining the total of 48, play the over in this one. Two of the most explosive offenses in the league, both franchises rank inside the top ten in points per game. Furthermore, while Baltimore heads into this one banged up on offense without their star tight end, Mark Andrews, the Chargers' defense has yet to show an ability to slow down opposing passing attacks.


Sunday Night Football in Week 12 features a battle of two franchises trending in opposite directions. Living up to the lofty expectations surrounding them in the offseason, the Ravens own the top spot in the AFC through 11 weeks following their victory over the Bengals and the Kansas City Chief's loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday Night football. Meanwhile, things have quickly gone from bad to worse for the Chargers. After giving up a season-high 41 points to the Lions, Los Angeles fell to the Packers a week ago. Needing to get back in the win column and back on track with their postseason hopes beginning to slip away, picking against Herbert at home is always risky. However, Baltimore is the better team on both sides of the football. They pull away late after a back-and-forth battle early on.

Final Score: Baltimore Ravens 31, Los Angeles Chargers 27

(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)


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