Deja Vu: Chargers lose another nail-biter to officially kill playoff hopes

Baltimore Ravens v Los Angeles Chargers
Baltimore Ravens v Los Angeles Chargers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

Coming off of two consecutive losses, the LA Chargers hosted the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football in Week 12 desperately needing a win. With a 4-6 record entering the game, the Chargers were essentially playing for their playoff lives on Sunday night.

It was an ugly game that gave fans an unfortunate sense of deja vu. When the dust finally settled, the Chargers lost another close game that they could have won, losing 20-10 to the Ravens.

The Chargers are not statistically eliminated from the playoffs with the loss but it is safe to say the season is over. The AFC is far too crowded for a 4-7 team to make a playoff run. After losing to Baltimore, Los Angeles has just a 4% chance of making the playoffs, per the NY Times.

This loss was more of the same for the 2023 Chargers

This game was not a carbon copy of every other Chargers loss this season but it was pretty dang close. The only difference from this game to other losses for the Chargers is that the defense actually played quite well in this game. Instead, it was three costly turnovers (of five total) that ended up deciding this game.

Regardless of the path that it took, this game ended up in the same place that most other losses have ended up. Justin Herbert got the ball with just over two minutes left and trailing by three. Yet again, Herbert and the offense were unable to even get into field goal range.

Just like several other games before, the Chargers crumbled on the biggest play of that drive. Facing a fourth and six, Herbert and the offensive line failed to recognize the slot blitz and it came home untouched. Herbert was drilled into the turf before he could even make a read against the defense.

The defense, while playing well throughout the game, still had a chance to extend the game if it could hold the Ravens from getting a first down. That didn't happen as the defense finally cracked, allowing Zay Flowers to take an outside hand-off all the way to the endzone for a touchdown.

With an emphatic stamp, the Chargers season was officially closed. Much like many other Chargers seasons, the 2023 season will be full of painful moments, close losses, and plenty of "what ifs". But just like almost every other season over the last decade, it will end with the Chargers going home after the final week of the regular season.