Chargers face a real defense

The San Diego Chargers will pit their offense against one of the elite this week - Philip Rivers will finally be put to his first challenge.

The Chargers are undefeated and untested. At least one of those will change Sunday in Baltimore. The Ravens will greet the Chargers after San Diego enjoyed its bye week with a 2-0 mark. But the team knows the challenge awaiting this weekend, after it clobbered two of the NFL's worst teams - Raiders and Titans - in bolting from the gate.

"Those guys will never go away," quarterback Philip Rivers said about the resilient Ravens, who came back to defeat the Browns on Sunday. "They've got veteran players in Ray Lewis and the safety Ed Reed, and you can recognize every name on their defense practically."

Part of Rivers' Sunday off was spent with the TV on. He noticed that the Ravens' defense isn't shy about gambling for a grand payoff.

"They thrive on making big plays," said Rivers, who will be starting his second NFL road game. "They didn't panic when they got their backs against the wall late in the game, they just stepped up."

The Chargers have stepped on their first two foes to the tune of 67-7. But a tall task awaits if they are to 86 the 3-0 Ravens from the ranks of the unbeaten. The Ravens are plus-10 in the turnover margin.

"That's what they live off of," tight end Antonio Gates said of the ball-hungry Ravens. "They thrive off of getting teams to get out of their comfort zones, to have them go for the big play and give up the turnover."

The game will match the NFL's top two defenses, with the Chargers leapfrogging the Ravens after Week 3.

"It is going to be a good test for us," running back LaDainian Tomlinson said.

Added right tackle Shane Olivea: "It will be a battle, both with our offensive line and their defensive line and our defensive line and their offense."


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