Five Things to Watch in Ravens vs. Chargers
As the Ravens (8-2) head into Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers (4-6) at Qualcomm Stadium, here's a checklist of some key areas to keep an eye on.
-- Aaron Wilson
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4. Will Ray Rice break out this game?( DAVID EULITT, MCT / October 7, 2012 )
The Ravens' Pro Bowl running back only rushed for 40 yards on 20 carries against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He gained 35 yards on 13 carries in a win over the Oakland Raiders for a total of 75 yards and 33 carries on the ground over the past two weeks.
He has averaged only 2.86 yards per carry over the past three weeks.
Well, the holes haven't been there for the most part.
Now, Rice squares off against a stout front seven that has shut down Tampa Bay Buccaneers rookie running back Doug Martin (68 yards on 19 carries) and Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles. Charles rushed for only 39 yards on a dozen carries against San Diego after rumbling for 140 yards against the Ravens earlier this season.
The Chargers' 3-4 defense is led by inside linebackers Takeo Spikes and Donald Butler as well as defensive end Corey Liuget and former Ravens outside linebacker Jarret Johnson.
"You look at the veteran leadership they have on their defense," Rice said. "When you look at a guy in the middle like Takeo Spikes, who's been doing it for 15 years, he's the ultimate pro. He's got a young linebacker next to him that reminds me of our situation here with a Ray Lewis and a Jameel McClain and Dannell Ellerbe. So, they're tough up front. They get after it."