The Ravens were dealt a devastating blow Thursday with the four-game suspension of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata for violating the NFL performance-enhancing drug policy because of him testing positive for Adderall.
Every week, reporter Jon Meoli will serve up five stats you should know heading into that week's Ravens game. This week's stats, prepared ahead of Sunday's playoff-type showdown with the Miami Dolphins, touch on some rate stats at which the Ravens excel, and how they might impact one of the biggest games of the season.
Welcome to the Ravens 10-Pack, where reporter Jon Meoli hits on 10 stats, notes, and thoughts following a 34-33, gut-punch home loss to the San Diego Chargers. Read ahead for notes on the secondary, which overshadowed a winning performance, plus Justin Tucker's quietly good season, and where all the rookies have gone.
On a day when two of their AFC North rivals were beaten, the Ravens had a 10-point lead with less than seven minutes to play and a six-point advantage with just more than two minutes to go. But their defense couldn't hold either time.
Some sports name three stars of the game after the game. I'll do that one better: I'm going to name them before the Ravens even play. These will be the three stars of the game when the Ravens host the San Diego Chargers in a game rich with playoff implications in Week 13.
Steve Smith's 14th NFL season has been eye-opening for the 35-year-old, given that the Panthers organization was all he had ever known. But each game seems to bring Smith flashbacks to an earlier phase of his career, and that's the case again as the Ravens (7-4) prepare to face the Chargers (7-4) on Sunday in a key game at M&T Bank Stadium.