Joe Flacco, Philip Rivers put on show in Ravens' win

Justin Tucker connected on five field goals, including his ninth career game-winner, to lead the Baltimore Ravens to a 29-26 victory in a see-saw affair versus the San Diego Chargers. Here's what you need to know:

  1. This quarterback matchup couldn't compare to the 13-touchdown scoring bonanza in New Orleans, but the Philip Rivers-Joe Flacco dual was plenty impressive considering the litany of injuries on both sidelines. As is the case nearly every week now, Rivers lost half of his offensive line and several key receivers early in the game. With Keenan Allen (muscle spasms), Ladarius Green (ankle) and Steve Johnson (shoulder) all forced out, Rivers had to connect with Malcom Floyd on a pair of scores.

Flacco was left with former special teamer Kamar Aiken and recent acquisitions Chris Givens and Jeremy Ross as his top threats after Steve Smith went down with a torn Achilles late in the third quarter. Both teams are desperately in need of the ameliorative powers of the bye. While the Ravens welcome theirs this week, the Chargers host the Bears prior to their Week 10 bye.

  1. Baltimore's victory turned pyrrhic when coach John Harbaugh confirmed after the game that Smith's injury is a season-ending Achilles' tendon tear. Fourth in the NFL in receiving yards per game entering the week, Smith was not just Flacco's go-to target but also the heart and soul of a speed-challenged offense. Just minutes before the injury, Smith had bypassed Hall of Famer Cris Carter for 10th place on the all-time receiving yards list. Here's hoping he rehabilitates with that trademark chip on his shoulder, reconsidering the possibility of a 16th NFL season in 2016.
  1. We're going to have to start tracking Rivers vs. Tom Brady in the race to break Peyton Manning's single-season record of 5,477 passing yards. Brady is on pace for 5,506 yards and a 46:2 TD-to-INT ratio compared to Rivers' pace of 5,508 yards and a 36:14 TD-to-INT ratio. While Brady has the superior supporting cast, Rivers is propelled by the shootout factor, as San Diego has surrendered at least 24 points in all eight games.
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