Street Talk 5 KEYS TO THE GAME

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BALTIMORE — 5 Keys to the Game:
1. In a virtual duplication of his late-game heroics last week in Cleveland, quarterback Steve McNair engineered another game-winning drive. In the Ravens’ 16-13 victory Sunday over the San Diego Chargers at M&T Bank Stadium, McNair sputtered again for the majority of the game with two interceptions. However, the former NFL Co-Most Valuable Player was efficient when it counted with 4 of 5 accuracy for 43 yards on the decisive drive, including his 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Todd Heap.
2. Although Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson gained 98 yards on 27 carries, he rarely made a distinctive impact other than a 29-yard run. The Ravens kept him bottled up for the most part and didn’t allow him to go the distance.
3. The Ravens limited All-Pro tight end Antonio Gates to four catches for 43 yards with linebacker Bart Scott [15 tackles] intercepting a Philip Rivers pass intended for Gates in the first half and returning it 24 yards.
4. The Ravens benefited heavily from the Chargers’ special-teams gaffes. After San Diego kicker Nate Kaeding booted a career-long 54-yarder, he flubbed a 40-yard try and had a botched snap derail his 52-yarder. Plus, punter Mike Scifres was ordered by coach Marty Schottenheimer to run out of the back of the end zone for a safety in the fourth quarter after several penalties backed the Chargers up to their goal line.
5. The Ravens managed to win without a running game. Starter Jamal Lewis gained a season-low 34 yards on 15 carries as Baltimore managed just 56 yards on 21 carries against the Chargers’ top-ranked defense.
Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland.

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Aaron Wilson

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post as well as the Baltimore Ravens for The Carroll County Times and Ravens24x7.com. He has previously covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans and has covered the NFL since 1997.  He has won several regional writing awards, including, most recently, Best Sports News Story for the state of Maryland in voting conducted by the Associated Press managing editors.  More from Aaron Wilson


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