Rookie Zay Flowers had a touchdown catch and ran for a game-sealing score late in the fourth quarter, Baltimore's defense forced four turnovers, and the AFC-best Ravens beat the Los Angeles Chargers 20-10 on Sunday night.
Lamar Jackson threw for 177 yards and ran for 39 on 11 carries, becoming the fourth quarterback in NFL history to exceed 5,000 rushing yards — and the fastest by far to do it. Jackson has played 82 games, 22 fewer than it took Michael Vick to top 5,000.
The Chargers largely bottled up Jackson and the Ravens' offense in the second half, but Flowers put the game away when he took an end-around on third-and-2 and dashed for a 37-yard touchdown with 1:36 left.
Baltimore (9-3) heads into its bye week one-half game ahead of Kansas City, Jacksonville and Miami for the best record in the conference.
Justin Herbert was 29 of 44 for 217 yards with a touchdown and an interception for the Chargers (4-7), who have lost three straight and are last in the AFC West. Keenan Allen had 14 receptions for 106 yards.
After Justin Tucker missed a 44-yard field goal attempt with 2:57 remaining, the Chargers had a chance to tie or take the lead when they took over at their own 34. Los Angeles drove to the Ravens 46 but turned it over on downs when Herbert was pressured in the pocket and was called for intentional grounding on fourth down.
Three plays later, Flowers put the game out of reach, although he could have ended it by going down short of the goal line. He made it count, though, mimicking a penalty kick in soccer during his end-zone celebration.
Baltimore grabbed a 7-3 lead with 10:46 remaining in the second quarter when Jackson connected with Flowers on a crossing route in the back of the end zone.
Tucker extended the advantage to 10-3 late in the first half with a 42-yard field goal. The Ravens had a short field to work with after Brent Urban recovered Allen's fumble at the LA 34-yard line.
The Chargers finally reached the end zone with 8:32 remaining on Gerald Everett's 3-yard touchdown reception. The tight end caught the ball at the 1 and then outmuscled Ravens safety Marcus Williams.
ALL FOR NAUGHT
Los Angeles had a 19-play drive that took up nearly nine minutes of the second half, but it came away empty.
On third-and-14 from the Baltimore 16, Ravens defensive end Jadeveon Clowney strip-sacked Herbert and recovered the ball at the 23.
The possession featured a trick play when Keenan Allen caught a 3-yard pass from Herbert and then lateraled to Austin Ekeler, who took it 14 yards to the Ravens 39.
It was the first 19-play drive in the league not to result in points since Week 15 last season when the Eagles missed a field goal against the Bears.
The Chargers got the ball first and took a 3-0 lead on Cameron Dicker's 39-yard field goal.
Los Angeles drove to the Baltimore 6-yard line on Herbert's 5-yard scramble, but guard Jamaree Salyer was called for unnecessary roughness after he took exception to what appeared to be an out of bounds hit on Herbert by Ravens safety Geno Stone.
Ravens: OT Ronnie Stanley left with a knee injury during the second quarter but returned during the second half. ... LB Patrick Queen was evaluated for a head injury during the fourth quarter but returned to the game. ... CB Marlon Humphrey was inactive for the second straight game due to a calf injury.
Ravens: After their bye, host the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 10.
Chargers: At New England next Sunday.
for more features.