Ravens running back Ray Rice talks about picking up a first down on a 4th and 29 play that was key in the team's win over the Chargers. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun)

Ravens defensive end Arthur Jones waited a long time to experience the moment of tackling an NFL quarterback to the ground.

During the 27th game of his NFL career, Jones recorded his first two sacks as he contributed to the Ravens harassing San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.

Unlike last year when Rivers seemingly had an eternity to stand in the pocket and shred the defense in a decisive win over Baltimore, the Ravens sacked him six times Sunday afternoon during a dramatic 16-13 overtime victory at Qualcomm Stadium. The six sacks were a season-high for the Ravens.

"It feels great, it feels amazing," said Jones, who started his fourth consecutive game at left defensive end. "My coaches told me to keep trusting my technique and footwork. I did that and look what happened. I thought that first sack would happen.

"I kept saying, 'It's coming,' because I had been getting closer and closer. It's a testament to the defense. Whatever people say about us, calling us dysfunctional or whatever, we stick together and we believe in ourselves."

Although Rivers still passed for 228 yards and registered a 91.0 passer rating, it was nothing like the dominance he displayed during a 34-14 win over the Ravens last season where he only had six incompletions. He completed 23 of 36 passes Sunday with just one touchdown.

The pressure the Ravens created by defeating single-blocking schemes in the front seven paid dividends.

"We knew that would be a big deal against Rivers," said outside linebacker Paul Kruger, who sacked Rivers once and leads the Ravens with 5 1/2 sacks. "He's one of those players who can make something happen if you give him time. Guys came up huge and made big plays."

The Ravens held the Chargers to 280 yards of total offense and 16 first downs, which qualifies as progress for a defense that plummeted to 25th overall heading into Sunday.

Rookie outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw, the Ravens' top draft pick and a second-round selection from Alabama, also registered his first solo sack for a loss of four yards after sharing a sack earlier this season.

However, the Ravens have improved over the past four games since a 43-13 loss to the Houston Texans with wins over the Cleveland Browns, Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and now the Chargers.

"We knew y'all are used to seeing a certain style of defense from us, but with the injuries we've sustained it's been hard," said outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, who had his first sack since the Texans game when he returned from a partially torn right Achilles tendon. "It's been hard, but we're not satisfied by any means. We know we're going in the right direction."

Ed Dickson, Dannell Ellerbe injured

Ravens starting tight end Ed Dickson left the game with a sprained knee and didn't return, heading to the locker room for further examination in the second quarter.

The initial diagnosis of the injury didn't reveal any ligament damage but more testing will be conducted, Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.

"It's a little concern going forward," Harbaugh said. "It's not a major knee injury. I can characterize it as a sprain with some swelling. We'll just have to see how it goes."

Meanwhile, starting inside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe left the game with a right foot injury and didn't return.

Special-teams ace Brendon Ayanbadejo and Josh Bynes divided up the playing time with Ellerbe out of the game.

Although limping after the game in the locker room, Ellerbe said he intends to play next week against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He may undergo an X-ray on Monday, but the injury isn't regarded as serious at this point.

"I'm planning on it," said Ellerbe, who sacked Rivers once. "I will do everything in my power to be out there. I got rolled up in a pile and fell on it. It's not that bad."