Chargers -- Ravens Insider Notes

The San Diego Chargers will wear their blue throwback jerseys this Sunday against Baltimore. The Bolts will hope it provides better luck than a year ago when they were hammered at home to the tune of 44-13 against the New York Jets. <br><br> To commemorate the occasion, all fans in attendance at Sunday's game will receive a collegiate blue adjustable cap, courtesy of Barona Valley Ranch Resort.

Sunday's game will be the fourth regular season meeting between the Chargers and Ravens. San Diego holds a 2-1 series edge with both wins coming in San Diego, including a 14-13 win in 1998 and a 21-17 win in '97. Baltimore's lone win in the series was a 24-3 victory at home in 2000.

Chargers Notes:

Eric Parker is leading the AFC in punt returns with a 12.9-yard average. Last week against Denver, he averaged 14.7 yards on three returns, including a season-long 28 yarder. In the 2003 season opener at Kansas City, Parker had a 41-yard return negated due to a penalty for an illegal block and during the preseason; he had returns of 93 and 88 yards also wiped out due to holding penalties.

As a receiver, Parker has been just as big a threat. Last Sunday against Denver, he caught a 23-yard touchdown pass marking the third straight game in which he's scored a touchdown. This followed a 20-yard touchdown catch in the 2003 season opener at Kansas City and a 31-yard scoring catch in the 2002 season finale against Seattle. Parker led the Bolts with 59 yards on five catches last Sunday against the Broncos.

•Eric Parker is the AFC's leading punt returner with an average of 12.9 yards per return
•Eric Parker is tied for fourth in the AFC with two touchdowns
Adrian Dingle's two sacks are tied for third-most in the AFC
Darren Bennett's net average of 38.1 yards per punt is fourth best in the AFC
•Darren Bennett's average of 43.1 yards per punt is seventh-best in the conference
•The Chargers average of 5.1 yards per carry ranks fifth in the NFL
•The Chargers 12.9 yard average on punt returns is third-best in the league

Ravens Notes:

With 19 first-year players on last season's opening day roster, the Ravens were the youngest team in NFL history. Amazingly, they are just as young this season. The average age of the Ravens a year ago was 25.2 years. Today's average age is 25.7 years. Baltimore currently has 19 first and 2nd-year players on the roster – 7 rookies and 12 2nd-year veterans. Because of those 2nd-year players, the average NFL experience for the team is now 3.9 seasons, compared to 3.43 in 2002.Seventy-five percent of the Ravens have 5 or fewer seasons of experience. Baltimore's 2 best players, Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis – the 1st 2 players ever drafted by the franchise – are 29 and 28 years old, respectively.

The good:

In their two games at Qualcomm Stadium, the Ravens have averaged 3.8 yards per rush against the Chargers.

The not so good:

In his only game against the Chargers, Jamal Lewis rushed for 91 yards and 1 TD. Lewis also had 3 receptions for 39 yards.

The bad:

As the games wore on in 2002, the Ravens' rushing offense seemed to get stronger in 2002.In the first half of games, Baltimore rushed 201 times for 794 yards (4.0 avg.) and 4 TDs. In the second half of games, the Ravens ran for 998 yards on 226 carries (4.6 avg.) and 5 TDs.

The worse:

The Ravens have produced 20 regular season individual 100-yard rushing performances and 22 overall in Brian Billick's 4-year tenure as head coach. In those games, the Ravens hold an 18-2 record (20-2 including postseason).

The worst:

The Baltimore Ravens have the #1 rushing offense in the NFL through the first 2 weeks of the season. At an average of 329.5 pounds, the Ravens' offensive line is the heaviest line in the league.

-SD Bolt Report
http://chargers.theinsiders.com

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