Calvin Johnson responds to Tom Brady’s comments about NFL
Former Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson responds to Tom Brady’s comments about today’s mediocre NFL.
The Week 12 “Sunday Night Football” matchup features two AFC teams in opposite directions.
The Baltimore Ravens (8-3) have assumed the role of the No. 1 seed in the conference by winning five of their past six games. Quarterback Lamar Jackson has seven touchdowns and just one interception in those five wins, and he has helped the Ravens offense score at least 31 points in five straight games.
The Los Angeles Chargers have lost consecutive games, both by three points, and have fallen into the cellar of the AFC West. Their defense has sputtered most of the season, ranking second to last in total D and last against the pass. Head coach Brandon Staley desperately needs to get things on track as his hot seat heats up.
Both teams failed to make significant contributions after suffering injuries in Week 11. Ravens tight end Mark Andrews is likely done for the year after suffering an ankle injury that required surgery. Meanwhile, the Chargers placed star edge rusher Joey Bosa on injured reserve after he suffered a foot injury.
USA TODAY Sports brings you the latest updates, scores, highlights, wild action, analysis and more during the Ravens-Chargers game. To follow.
The Ravens at Chargers kick off at 8:20 PM ET. The game will be broadcast on NBC and Peacock. The game can also be streamed for free on Fubo.
Here are the USA TODAY Sports staff picks for this game:
- Lorenzo Reyes: Raven
- Tyler Dragon: Raven
- Victoria Hernandez: Raven
- Jordan Mendoza: Raven
- Jarrett Bell: Raven
- Safid Deen: Raven
- Nate Davis: Raven
- Chris Bumbaca: Raven
- Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz: Raven
A trio of key Ravens offensive players will be available for the “Sunday Night Football” game at SoFi Stadium. Wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. (shoulder) and Zay Flowers (hip) are active, as is starting offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley (knee). Stanley missed the Ravens’ win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 11. Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey (calf) remains out.
Ravens inactive players:
- LB Trenton Simpson
- LB Malik Harrison
- CB Marlon Humphrey
- C Sam Mustipher
- OG Sala Aumavae-Laulu
- QB Josh Johnson (third QB)
Chargers inactive players:
- S.A.J. Finley
- RB Isaiah Spiller
- RB Elijah Dotson
- OT Zack Bailey
- TE Nick Vannett
- WR Simi Fehoko
- DT Scott Matlock
Ravens tight end Mark Andrews will likely miss the remainder of the season after suffering an ankle injury during Week 11’s 34-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, coach John Harbaugh said after the game.
An MRI showed the Ravens star tight end had a cracked fibula and an ankle ligament injury, a person familiar with the situation told USA TODAY Sports. They spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter.
However, there was more positive news during the week.
“It wasn’t as bad as initially feared right after the game,” Harbaugh said.
Is Andrews out for the season? Nothing has been finalized yet, Harbaugh said.
“But it wasn’t as bad as it could have been,” Harbaugh added. “It’s cleaner than they thought, based on the MRI. The team placed Andrews on injured reserve on Saturday.
The Ravens will know more when Andrews begins his rehabilitation under the supervision of Dr. James Andrews in Charlotte, North Carolina. There is an outside chance he could return this season, but Harbaugh has not put a timetable on that. — Chris Bumbaca and Tyler Dragon
Chargers WR Keenan Allen is tied with Davante Adams and Julio Jones for the third-most games with at least 10 receptions and 100 receiving yards in NFL history (18). Allen leads Los Angeles in receptions (83), receiving yards (1,011) and touchdown catches (7). As of Week 12, he is in the top five in the NFL in all three categories. — Tyler Dragon
Lamar Jackson leads all quarterbacks with 535 rushing yards this season. Jackson’s 4,972 rushing yards rank fourth all-time among NFL quarterbacks. He trails only Michael Vick, Cam Newton and Russell Wilson on the NFL’s all-time list. — Tyler Dragon
According to BetMGM NFL odds, the Ravens are the favorite to beat the Chargers.
- Spread: Raven (-3)
- Moneyline: Raven (-165); Chargers (+140)
- Top/bottom: 48.5
USA TODAY Sports staff picks for this game:
- Lorenzo Reyes: Raven 29, Chargers 23 — Over the last five games, Baltimore has alternated between covering and uncovering spreads, so the inconsistency must be weighed here. But the Chargers have lost and failed to cover their last two. Los Angeles’ offenses are inconsistent and the Chargers’ problems are largely self-inflicted.
- Tyler Dragon: Ravens 30, Chargers 23 — Brandon Staley is in a good spot after another one-score loss. The Chargers have lost five games by three points or fewer this season. No other team has lost more than two such games. Baltimore has had a mini-bye since they played last Thursday. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens could very well be the best team in the AFC. Expect the Ravens offense to exploit the Chargers’ terrible pass defense.
- Safid Deen: Raven 24, Chargers 20 — The Chargers always play against their opponent. Until the moment of the crunch. I like Lamar Jackson and the Ravens beating Justin Herbert and the Chargers in the fourth quarter, even without star tight end Mark Andrews.
- Victoria Hernandez: Ravens 28, Chargers 23 – With Joey Bosa out, the Chargers defense deflates. That’s exactly what they don’t need against the high-powered Ravens offense. Lamar Jackson has so many tools at his disposal that Odell Beckham Jr. just had his first 100-yard game of the season. The Ravens get the win on the road and keep going all season long.
- Jordan Mendoza: Ravens 34, Chargers 30 – Los Angeles needs this win as the hot seat under Brandon Staley continues to scorch. Baltimore will be without Mark Andrews, but the Chargers continue to put up points and it will be harder to stop Lamar Jackson without Joey Bosa. Another shootout takes place at SoFi Stadium, with the visiting team coming out on top.
Brandon Staley’s frustrations began to boil over after the Los Angeles Chargers’ disappointing loss to the Green Bay Packers when he was questioned by a reporter about whether he would continue calling defensive plays for the Chargers.
“I have complete confidence in our way of playing. Complete confidence in myself as a play caller, in the way we teach and the way we plan. I have complete confidence in that,” Staley said after the game. “We need to bring this group together and do it consistently. And that’s what matters.
“You can stop asking that question. I’m going to call the defense, okay? So we are clear. So you don’t have to ask that again.” — Tyler Dragon
The comparisons to the 2000 Baltimore Ravens defense, one of the greatest in league history, were premature. But the 2023 version of Baltimore’s defense deserves its own praise.
Having a second season in defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald’s system has been an obvious — yet important — difference, players say.
“He has a somewhat complicated plan,” safety Kyle Hamilton told USA TODAY Sports. “But he did a great job of working it out and making it simple for us.”
Having defenders who know how to do multiple things and play different spots — especially for a 6-foot-5 safety like Hamilton — are all part of Macdonald’s philosophy.
“I think it always keeps the offense on its toes and I think it allows us to play in different areas and show our versatility,” Hamilton said.
Players have to keep in mind the wrinkles Macdonald and his staff come up with every week, edge rusher Odafe Oweh said.
“I also think guys are getting more comfortable with the scheme and the defense,” Oweh said. “Mike had all this last year too. Guys are just learning plays and becoming more skilled at certain positions.”
Read Chris Bumbaca’s full article here.
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