Ravens shut down Herbert, Chargers in dominant victory
BALTIMORE (AP) — Lamar Jackson threw for 167 yards and a touchdown, and the Baltimore Ravens frustrated Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers in a 34-6 victory Sunday.
A week after scoring 47 points in a win over Cleveland, the Chargers (4-2) came up empty on their first five possessions and were held under 16 points for only the second time since drafting Herbert before last season.
The Ravens completely controlled this matchup of division leaders. Each of Baltimore's three veteran running backs — Latavius Murray, Le'Veon Bell and Devonta Freeman — scored a touchdown.
Jackson went 19 of 27 with two interceptions. Herbert was 22 of 39 for 195 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Although the much-anticipated clash between these two talented quarterbacks didn't live up to expectations, Baltimore won with a total team effort.
The Ravens set the tone on their first possession, driving 90 yards on 12 plays in 6:39 and taking the lead on a 14-yard run by Murray. The Chargers entered the game with the NFL's worst run defense, and Baltimore finished with 187 yards on the ground — a week after the Ravens had their record-tying streak of 43 straight 100-yard rushing games snapped.
Bell's 2-yard scoring run early in the second quarter put Baltimore up 14-0. Los Angeles punted on its first three possessions, then turned the ball over on downs. Then Herbert was intercepted for the first time since Week 2. He'd thrown 11 touchdown passes over the previous three games, while the Chargers totaled 105 points.
Jackson threw an interception immediately after Herbert's, and only then — after taking over on the Baltimore 27 — did the Chargers score. Herbert's 1-yard touchdown pass to Jared Cook made it 17-6.
The Ravens got the ball first in the second half, and after a long kickoff return, they went 52 yards in 12 plays, using up nearly half of the third quarter and going ahead 24-6 on Jackson's 9-yard touchdown pass to Mark Andrews.
The Ravens' methodical approach — and the Chargers' difficulty stopping the run — led to a significant gap in time of possession. Baltimore held the ball for just over 38 minutes.
Los Angeles was 7 of 8 on fourth-down attempts entering the game, but when Chargers rookie coach Brandon Staley tried to be aggressive against Baltimore, it backfired. Los Angeles went for it on fourth-and-3 from its own 39 in the second quarter, then on fourth-and-1 from its own 19 in the third. Herbert threw incomplete both times, leading to two Baltimore field goals.
Freeman scored on a 9-yard run at the start of the fourth to make it 34-6.
Murray left in the third quarter with an ankle injury, and Ravens center Bradley Bozeman left with a back injury on the first drive of the second half.
Chargers: Los Angeles has next weekend off before hosting New England on Oct. 31. The Chargers lost 45-0 to the Patriots last season.
Ravens: Baltimore hosts Cincinnati next Sunday before its bye week.
Follow Noah Trister at https://twitter.com/noahtrister
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