The Baltimore Ravens have been officially eliminated from the 2019 NFL Playoffs after losing a chaotic game to the Los Angeles Chargers in the Wild Card round, 23-17.
The Chargers led by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s AFC Wild Card matchup, but had to hold off a furious rally by the Ravens to secure the win.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson looked like a rookie for long stretches of his first playoff start, but managed to bring Baltimore to within six points on two fourth-quarter touchdown drives before getting the ball back with 45 seconds remaining on Baltimore’s 34-yard line.
However, the magic came to an abrupt end when Jackson was stripped by Chargers linebacker Uchenna Nwosu and the fumble was recovered by teammate Melvin Ingram to secure the victory for Los Angeles.
Jackson finished the day completing 14 of 29 passes (48%) for 194 yards, two late touchdowns, and a first-half interception.
But the final stat line could not hide an ugly first three quarters for the Ravens offense, which was exacerbated by thundering boos from the capacity crowd at M&T Bank Stadium. The Chargers took a 23-3 lead in the fourth quarter behind a relentless defense that sacked Jackson seven times and held the rookie to a 0.0 rating up to that point.
Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers played an efficient game Sunday, completing 22 of 32 passes for 160 yards. Running back Melvin Gordon was effectively stopped by the Ravens defense all game long, but his one-yard touchdown burst on the second play of the fourth quarter proved to be the game winner.
Ravens quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco remained on the sidelines for the entire game.
With the loss, Baltimore will head into the offseason with big decisions looming on the horizon for head coach John Harbaugh, whose contract was recently extended through the 2019 season. Most notably, Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs will become a free agent in March and rumors have been circulating on a possible Flacco trade to Jacksonville or an outright release during the offseason.