INGLEWOOD, Calif. — The summary of the Sunday Night Football game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the visiting Baltimore Ravens came down to which team would make the plays when it counted. The Ravens did their part. The Chargers did not.
As a result of this dynamic, the Ravens walked away with a rugged 20–10 win at SoFi Stadium, handing the Chargers their seventh defeat on the season.
“We lost as a team tonight,” Chargers head coach Brandon Staley said afterward. “In a game like that where it’s low scoring, where it turns into a defensive game, you have to get one more stop. That’s what we needed to do at the end of the game was just get one more stop, give Justin one more opportunity, and we weren’t able to do it.
Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler (30) tries to escape a Baltimore Ravens defender during a Sunday Night Football game played at SoFi Stadium on Nov. 26, 2023. Photo credit: Melinda Meijer/News4usonline (Courtesy of The Bulletin)
“I thought that our defense really competed tonight. I thought we were ready for the challenge. I thought our guys really played at a high level for most of the game. But, we didn’t get it done, as a team. We didn’t go get the ball tonight, and that’s what we needed to do on defense to win it. Offensively, we didn’t take care of the ball to win tonight.”
The Chargers defense was good enough for Los Angeles to win this ballgame. However, Baltimore forced four turnovers (three fumbles) and put ample pressure on quarterback Justin Herbert to make his life in the pocket a little more than miserable. Because of Baltimore’s pressure defense, Herbert completed 29 of 44 passes for 217 yards.
Herbert was sacked three times and hit the turf on other occasions throughout the game. The game, Herbert said, was won and lost on the execution front.
“I thought that they did a good job,” Herbert said. “Unfortunately, I don’t think that we executed the way that we would have liked to have. I have to be able to get the ball out quicker. I have to make some checks. It wasn’t good enough on our part today.”
The turnover part was certainly not good for a team that usually keeps turnovers to a minimum. Courtesy of the Baltimore defense, Herbert, Keenan Allen and running back Austin Ekeler were guilty of putting the ball on the turf.
“That was certainly the difference in the game, and it usually is in the NFL,” Staley said. “When you turn the ball over three times and don’t get any, your chances of winning aren’t very good, especially when you’re playing a team like Baltimore, it’s going to be really tough. We hung in there about as well as you could, turning it over like that, one of them in the red area. Just didn’t play well enough, clean enough, to win tonight.”
Despite losing the turnover battle to the Ravens, the Chargers hung around and stayed in the game thanks in large part to defense. The Chargers defense kept Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson from having one of his patented explosive games, holding the Ravens’ signal-caller to making just 18 of his 32 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown.
Los Angeles Chargers cornerback Asante Samuel Jr. (26) makes the tackle on Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Rashod Bateman (7) during a Sunday Night Football game played at SoFi Stadium on Nov. 26, 2023. Photo credit: Melinda Meijer/News4usonline (Courtesy of The Bulletin)
“ tough game, obviously. The Chargers are a very good football team,” Baltimore head coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters. “I thought they played really well. very well-coached team, and it’s a big win for us. You can tell, we’re really, really happy with this win. This is a challenging place to play. It’s loud.
“This team we’re playing is really good, and I thought our guys just played a great football game to come out here on Sunday Night Football and win the game. I’m just proud of the players the way they played. I thought the fourth quarter was a statement. We put an exclamation point on the fourth quarter.”
The Ravens also made a statement in the run game. Baltimore rushed for 197 yards on 35 carries, a 5.6 per yards pop.
“Very effective. very effective,” Jackson said about his team’s ability to run the football. “Gus had great runs and Keaton had great runs and Justice . The guys just do a great job. They’re doing their job at that. Our offensive line had a great push, so just keep our offense balanced and I feel like we’ll put points on the board.”
Top Image Caption: Los Angeles Chargers tight end Gerald Everett (7) backs his way into the endzone to complete a 3-yard touchdown reception from Justin Herbert during a Sunday Night Football game played at SoFi Stadium on Nov. 26, 2023. Photo credit: Melinda Meijer/News4usonline (Courtesy of The Bulletin)