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Philip Rivers at his best in comeback win over Ravens

With their playoff lives flashing before their eyes, the San Diego Chargers trailed by ten points with under seven minutes remaining in Baltimore. They somehow found a way to win 34-33. Here's what we learned:

  1. Philip Rivers won't win MVP this season, but this was an MVP performance from him: 383 yards, three scores and a pick that came when his arm was hit. On a day where he was knocked down at least 10 times, Rivers moved the ball by knowing where to go under pressure. He picked up his first seven third downs and converted touchdowns on San Diego's final three drives.
  1. Rivers was partly successful because he picked on advantageous matchups. He mercilessly picked on Ravens cornerback Anthony Levine late in the game, and Levine's pass interference penalty set up San Diego's game-winning touchdown. Rivers also exposed Baltimore's curious decision to cover Antonio Gates with linebackers like C.J. Mosley and Courtney Upshaw.
  1. It's amazing that Joe Flacco lost this game. The Ravens' offense had reached the red zone seven times in eight drives before getting the ball with just over 30 seconds left. Flacco made a number of terrific plays, often improvised and on the run. The Chargers' defense forced Baltimore to kick too many field goals. Anyone blaming Flacco for this one didn't watch the game.
  1. Justin Forsett topped 1,000 yards on the season with four games left to go. Baltimore's offensive line deserves credit for pushing San Diego around, but Forsett also made a lot of defenders miss with his quick footwork on his way to 106 yards.
  1. Keenan Allen deserves an assist on the win, bringing down 11 of Rivers' passes with acrobatic catches. Both of his touchdowns were things of beauty; he's great at adjusting to passes in midair.
  1. Brandon Flowers did a great job shutting down Steve Smith for most of the day. Flowers also made a great tackle of Kamar Aiken on the final play of regulation, preventing the Ravens from attempting a potential 60-yard game-winner.
  1. The Ravens are one of the most complete teams in the league ... except for their secondary. It let them down in a huge spot. Now 7-5 and 1.5 games behind the Bengals, Baltimore will need help to win the division. The Chargers, now 8-4, proved they can compete with the big teams in the AFC. They still have a brutal schedule ahead.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Sunday game from Week 13 and debates whether Johnny Manziel deserves the starting job. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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