Rookie Michael Badgley kicked four of his five field goals in the first half as the Los Angeles Chargers built a 17-point lead and withstood the Baltimore Ravens’ comeback attempt in a 23-17 victory Sunday in a wild card playoff game at Baltimore.
After Baltimore was limited to one first down in the first half and three through three quarters, rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree with six minutes, 33 seconds to play and a 6-yarder to Crabtree with 1:59 left.
Following Crabtree’s second touchdown, the Ravens forced the Chargers to punt after three plays.
Baltimore began its final drive on its 34-yard line with 45 seconds left and no time outs remaining. Jackson completed a 13-yard pass to Mark Andrews on the first play and spiked the ball on the second.
Rookie linebacker Uchenna Nwosu knocked the ball out of Jackson’s right hand as he was about to pass on the third play, Melvin Ingram III recovered the loose ball and the Chargers ran out the remaining 19 seconds for a victory in their first playoff game since 2013.
The Chargers will next play at New England next Sunday in a divisional playoff game.
The Chargers allowed 229 yards and 11 first downs, both the lowest amounts in their 29 postseason games. They tied a team postseason record with seven quarterback sacks.
Badgley’s five field goals were also a team postseason record, breaking the previous record of three set by Ben Agajanian in the 1960 AFL championship game.
The Chargers outgained the Ravens, 243-229, and led 14-11 in first downs and 33:40-26:20 in time of possession. Baltimore led the league in time of possession during the regular season, keeping the ball an average of 32:54 per game.
The Ravens were limited to 90 rushing yards on 23 carries after finishing second in the league in rushing in the regular season, averaging 152.6 yards per game.
Philip Rivers completed 22 of 32 passes for 160 yards as the Chargers avenged a 22-10 loss to Baltimore on Dec. 22.
Jackson completed 14 of 29 passes for 194 yards and ran for a game-high 54 yards on nine carries.
Melvin Gordon ran 1 yard for the game’s first touchdown two plays into the fourth quarter and Badgley kicked a 47-yard field goal to increase the Chargers’ lead to 23-3 with 9:09 left before a crowd announced at 70,432 at M&T Bank Stadium.
Badgley opened the scoring with a 21-yard field goal 8:01 into the first quarter, five plays after Adrian Phillips recovered a fumble by Ravens running back Kenneth Dixon at the Baltimore 15-yard line.
Badgley kicked a 53-yard field goal on the Chargers’ next possession, four plays after Desmond King II’s 33-yard punt return to the Ravens’ 42-yard line.
The Chargers converted an interception by Phillips at their own 41-yard line into a 40-yard field goal by Badgley 3:22 before halftime.
Badgley kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired in the first half on a drive in which Rivers completed six of eight passes for 39 yards.
King returned the second half’s opening kickoff 72 yards to Baltimore’s 26-yard line. The Chargers failed to get a first down and Badgley’s 41-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Za’Darius Smith.
Justin Tucker kicked a 33-yard field goal for with 8:30 left in the third quarter for the Ravens’ first points.
The field goal came four plays after Baltimore linebacker Patrick Onwuasor, an Inglewood High alumnus, punched the ball out of the arm of Chargers tight end Virgil Green. Ravens middle linebacker C.J. Mosley recovered the ball at the Chargers’ 33-yard line and returned the ball 12 yards to Chargers’ 21-yard line.
The Chargers were forced to punt after three plays on the ensuing possession. Donnie Jones’ punt was partially blocked, going for 11 yards before being downed at the Chargers’ 40-yard line.
Tucker missed a 50-yard field goal attempt four plays later, his first missed field goal attempt in the postseason after making his first nine attempts.
The Chargers have won nine of their 10 regular-season and postseason games away from what is now Dignity Health Sports Park during the 2018 season. Baltimore won six of its final seven regular-season games after Jackson replaced Joe Flacco as their starting quarterback.
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