There are still six weeks remaining in the 2012 NFL regular season, but the San Diego Chargers year could essentially be ended in Week 12.
At 4-6, this season hasn’t gone as expected for the Chargers. Playing in a division where just one team has more than four wins, San Diego hasn’t been able to take advantage of being in the AFC West. Norv Turner’s job is likely on the line, and Philip Rivers’ ability to lead a winning team has been questioned.
If the Chargers want to keep their fading playoff hopes alive, they’ll have to defeat one of their toughest tests of the year. San Diego will host the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday afternoon, a team they’ve lost to three straight times.
The Ravens are fighting for one of the top seeds in the AFC. They’re 8-2 record has them two games ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers in their division, and 1.5 games behind the Houston Texans in the conference.
Despite their success, Baltimore hasn’t been the dominant defensive force that they once were. They rank 23rd and 27th, respectively, in opponents passing and rushing yards. The loss of two of the Ravens defensive stars is one of the big reasons for the decline. Linebacker Ray Lewis and cornerback Lardarius Webb went down for the season, after the team’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Baltimore will look to stop a quarterback that commits as many turnovers as any in football. Rivers leads the league with 14 interceptions. He’s also lost four fumbles and been sacked 26 times.
Of all the games on the Week 12 schedule, this contest is expected to be the closest. The consensus betting line at most Las Vegas sportsbooks is a pick‘em.
The game is set to kick off at 4:05 p.m. ET at Qualcomm Stadium on CBS. You can watch a live stream by purchasing NFL Sunday Ticket Max.
Prediction: The Chargers have had difficulty all season against good teams, failing to beat a club with a record above .500. The Ravens may not be as good on the road, but San Diego has yet to prove that they can beat a team of Baltimore’s caliber.
Predicted Score: Baltimore 27, San Diego 17