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Los Angeles Chargers 23-17 Baltimore Ravens: Chargers hold on to beat Baltimore

Baltimore scored two late touchdowns to keep it close

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Highlights from the NFL as the Los Angeles Chargers took on the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL Wild Card Round.

The Los Angeles Chargers held off a late Baltimore Ravens fightback to advance from the AFC Wild Card round.

Lamar Jackson was held to just two completions and 11 passing yards in the first half, while the previously red-hot Ravens rushing attack could only manage 90 yards after 229.6 per game since Jackson's debut in Week 11.

Meawhile, Chargers' rookie kicker Mike Badgley kicked five field goals, and Melvin Gordon rushed for a one-yard touchdown to start the fourth quarter after a crazy series of events at the goal-line.

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A crazy couple of minutes in the Chargers-Ravens playoff game saw three potential touchdowns scored. But which were TDs and which weren't?

Baltimore roared back in the fourth quarter, as Jackson threw two touchdown tosses to Michael Crabtree to bring the deficit down to just six points. However, Los Angeles sealed the game when Uchenna Nwosu sacked Jackson, stripped the ball, and Melvin Ingram recovered.

Jackson's inexperience - or perhaps nervousness - was evident early as he fumbled twice in the first two drives, however both were recovered. Running back Kenneth Dixon was not so lucky, and his lost fumble gave Los Angeles their first points of the game when Badgley kicked a field goal on the short field.

After a Desmond King 33-yard punt return brought the Chargers into field goal range and give them a 6-0 lead, Jackson's struggles continued when Adrian Phillips picked off his pass intended for Chris Moore. The ball was in Moore's hands, but tight coverage from Casey Hayward forced the ball out and into the arms of Phillips.

Yet again, a relentless Ravens' D held the Chargers to just three points, and on the final drive of the half, Badgley added another kick to give them a 12-0 lead at the break.

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Image: Rookie kicker Badgley kicked five field goals

In the second half, drama ensued.

Desmond King's 73-yard punt return to start the second half gave the Chargers even more momentum, but Baltimore looked to have changed the game when first, Za'Darius Smith blocked the field-goal attempt, and shortly after, they won the ball back again in Chargers' territory when Virgil Green lost the ball and CJ Mosley recovered.

Justin Tucker scored on a 33-yard field goal to open the scoring for Baltimore, but missed his next attempt, breaking a streak of nine straight made kicks in the playoffs.

Gordon's one-yard touchdown made it 20-3 as the fourth quarter began after the officials had ruled a Derek Watt catch, then a Gordon run, just shy of the endzone.

Baltimore coach John Harbaugh may have been tempted to turn to his backup quarterback - former Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco - but he stuck with the rookie, who finally showed some fight in the fourth quarter even after Badgley had made it 23-3.

First, Jackson hit Willie Snead for a big gain, before firing a strike to Crabtree for a 31-yard touchdown, offering some hope to Baltimore fans who had been booing for most of the second half.

The Ravens' defense did their job again, and Jackson took advantage for a second time, first coming up with a miraculous scramble and launch downfield to Kenneth Dixon, who rumbled for a 39-yard gain, then following it up with a seven-yard touchdown to Crabtree again on fourth down.

Russell Okung's offensive holding penalty wiped out a Gordon run that would have sealed the game for Los Angeles, but after their punt, Nwosu forced the ball out, Ingram recovered, and the Chargers secured their spot in the next round and a trip to New England.

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Chargers 3-0 Ravens: Michael Badgley 21-yard field goal

Chargers 6-0 Ravens: Badgley 53-yard field goal


Chargers 9-0 Ravens: Badgley 40-yard field goal

Chargers 12-0 Ravens: Badgley 34-yard field goal


Chargers 12-3 Ravens: Justin Tucker 33-yard field goal


Chargers 20-3 Ravens: Melvin Gordon one-yard touchdown run (Rivers to Mike Williams two-point conversion)

Chargers 23-3 Ravens: Badgley 47-yard field goal

Chargers 23-10 Ravens: Jackson 31-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree (Tucker extra point good)

Chargers 23-17 Ravens: Jackson seven-yard touchdown pass to Crabtree (Tucker extra point good)

Game's key stats

Passing C/A Yds TD Int Passing C/A Yds TD Int
Philip Rivers 22/32 160 0 0 Lamar Jackson 14/29 194 2 1
Rushing Att Yds TD Rushing Att Yds TD
Melvin Gordon 17 40 1 Lamar Jackson 9 54 0
Austin Ekeler 11 29 0 Gus Edwards 8 23 0
Receiving Rec Yds TD Receiving Rec Yds TD
Mike WIlliams 2 42 0 Kenneth Dixon 3 53 0
Keenan Allen 4 37 0 Willie Snead 3 50 0
Antonio Gates 4 35 0 Michael Crabtree 2 38 2
Austin Ekeler 4 14 0 Mark Andrews 3 31 0
Total yards 243 Total yards 229

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ProFootballTalk journalist Peter King reflects on the main talking points from Wild Card weekend in the NFL.

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