Ravens 26, Chargers 24: The Chargers, finished with the Triple-A portion of the schedule (at Jacksonville, Buffalo, scoring 75 points in the two), now put the big-boy pads on and play well. I see some very happy faces in the NBC production truck Sunday night, with a down-to-the-wire, big-ratings game won by the legs of Ray Rice in the final minutes.
Torrey Smith will be the leading receiver Sunday night: You don't normally expect a high-scoring affair when Baltimore's involved, but Philip Rivers has found a bit of a groove and has his full complement of receivers to work with. However, on the other side of the ball, San Diego has had trouble getting to opposing quarterbacks. That means Joe Flacco should have some time to settle in the pocket and let his receivers get downfield. Smith has become Baltimore's best deep threat.
• All four analysts on ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown expect the Ravens to win.
• The Madden 12 simulation forecasts a three-point loss for the Ravens to the Chargers.
• CBSSports.com's Pete Prisco thinks the Ravens will have trouble going across the country to play the Chargers.
Chargers 27, Ravens 21: The Chargers have won back-to-back games, and actually have a chance to win the division. They have been a different offense the past two weeks with Malcom Floyd back in the lineup. But the Ravens are a step up in terms of defense. Even so, this is a long trip and the last time the Ravens went to the West Coast, they lost to the Seahawks. They lose this one as Philip Rivers continues his hot hand.
• Four out of five CBSSports.com analysts believe the Ravens will win, but only three think they'll cover the 2 1/2-point spread over San Diego. (Editor's note: Prisco is listed as picking the Ravens, but in his summary above, he picks the Chargers to win.)
• FoxSports.com's Peter Schrager expects the Ravens to pick up a victory in a high-scoring affair in California.
Also lost in the Tebow madness out West is what the Chargers have quietly done the past two weeks. With no media attention or Twitter buzz, San Diego has compiled two blowouts of inferior opponents the past two weeks, putting themselves on the cusp of the AFC playoff conversation. A win Sunday over the Ravens would move them closer to January football and severely cripple the Ravens' chances at home field and the AFC North crown. I think it's a battle, but Joe Flacco outlasts Philip Rivers on a second straight Sunday night gem. The pick: Ravens 31, Chargers 27
• The hosts of Showtime's Inside the NFL are split on which team will win between the Ravens and Chargers. Phil Simms picks the Ravens, but Warren Sapp likes San Diego. Cris Collinsworth's pick is withheld due to commentating rules.
Seeing other predictions on this week's NFL games? Leave them as a comment below.
[Compiled by Dean Jones Jr.]Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun