Guest column: Willett predicts narrow win

3-0 versus 2-0, No. 52's defense versus No. 56's defense, L.T. versus Jamal, local guy coming home to play in front of friends and family. There are several angles to look at going into this Sunday's game between the Chargers and the Ravens, but let's discuss the one factor the Ravens have in their favor, the fans.

San Diego walked all over the Raiders in Oakland in Week 1, they took the crowd out of the game immediately, Raider fans were more worried about booing their own players instead of the Chargers. Week 2, the Titans came to San Diego and got embarrassed by the Chargers, never was a close game or a tense situation maybe other than the coin toss, opposing fans were not a factor.
Fast forward to Sunday here at M&T Bank Stadium, fans will be geared up, the Ravens are back home, they are undefeated and I have a funny feeling that Ray Lewis is gonna do some dancing. All that and some Miller Lite's, will lead to a very hostile environment for Shawne "Light's Out" Merriman and his San Diego Chargers. Brian Billick always talks about how the fans can have a tangible effect in the game, the Chargers have not had to go into a hornet's nest like they will have to on Sunday.
Can the Chargers play from behind on the road ? Can Philip Rivers handle a hostile fan base, can he get his calls at the line of scrimmage ? There is no denying that LaDainian Tomlinson is one of if not the top running back in the NFL ,but if the Ravens defense is successful in limiting him, can Philip Rivers lead the Chargers to victory, or is he a QB that has the ,"just don't put us in a bad position," tag on him. If the Ravens can put pressure on Rivers early and often, then that may also force Antonio Gates to help in the pass blocking which in that case you have to like the Ravens secondary chances, and don't forget Rivers delivery, that sidearm throwing motion that could lead to a lot of batted balls.
Sunday at 1pm, the Ravens will want and expect their fans to be fired up and cause problems for the Chargers, and I am sure you fans will not let them down, be loud, scream, do whatever you have to do ,but most importantly, don't be a jerk(sorry had to throw that in there).The Chargers have not faced a crowd like they will on Sunday, so rest up and be ready to go on Sunday.
It goes without saying, but please stay classy, visiting San Diegans.
My prediction for Sunday: Ravens 19, Chargers 17. Ray Bachman and Casey Willett host a radio show on Sportstalk 1570-WNST on Sunday from 10am-12pm. This week, Clark Judge from CBSSportsline will be joining us as well as interviews with players and coaches.

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