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Keys to the Game: Ravens vs. Chargers

4. Get Ready for a Dog Fight – Philip Rivers knows the Bolts’ physicality will be put to the test as the Ravens are a tough-nosed team known to impose their will. It’s pretty much in their DNA. It’s a tradition started by Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Terrell Suggs and more over the past 18 years, and while Suggs is the only member of that trio that remains, Baltimore is every bit as rugged as ever. Thus, you can understand why Rivers stressed their physical nature when breaking down this week’s opponent:

“This defense, they built a culture there defensively (where for) longer than a decade…(they’re) playing a certain physical style and going to blitz from all over the place. Then, we’re just going to line up and play sound defense. They really keep you off-balance, and they just fly to the football. You know, Suggs has been there forever, and he was a part of the old Ravens way back when. He’s been there ahead of 14, 15, short of years. Had a heck of a career, doing it at a high level. A lot of those guys, the secondary, are high draft picks that can cover you, (and there’s the) linebacker that can really run. You’ve got big boys on the interior that can stop the run and penetrate. So it’s a top defense in the league for a reason. You know, I just say we have our work cut out for us.”

Lynn echoed that very same sentiment, explaining how Baltimore’s offense winning time of possession allows the defense to stay fresh throughout the game:

“Baltimore’s defense, they’re physical. They’re number one in the league at getting you behind the sticks early in downs. Their offense sometimes is their defense as well. They’re fresh. They play 45, 50 snaps a game. So, we have to do a better job on the offensive side of the ball staying on the field, and special teams winning the hidden yards and we’ve got to slow them down on defense. So, it’s a team effort by them, but their defense is really good.”

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