Chargers let another one slip away in road loss to Ravens

BALTIMORE -- Another road game, another late-game loss for the San Diego Chargers, this one a 29-26 setback to the Baltimore Ravens.

The Chargers took a seven-point lead late in the third quarter on a 70-yard Malcom Floyd touchdown catch from Philip Rivers.

But San Diego couldn’t hold on, as the Ravens outscored them 10-3 in the fourth quarter.

The Chargers drove 49 yards on eight plays, with a Josh Lambo 49-yard field goal tying the game at 26-all with 2:27 left to play.

But the Ravens came right back, with Joe Flacco driving his team 59 yards on nine plays. Baltimore got a heavy assist from the officials, who called a pass interference penalty on San Diego cornerback Steve Williams against Ravens receiver Kamar Aiken.

The penalty gave Baltimore the ball at San Diego’s 22-yard line. Two plays later, Ravens kicker Justin Tucker drilled a 39-yard field goal for the game-winner.

The Chargers have lost four straight and dropped to 2-6. San Diego has lost nine of its last 12 dating back to last season.

Rivers didn’t put up gaudy numbers, but he was efficient, finishing 28-of-37 for 301 yards and two touchdown passes. Rivers completed passes to 10 different receivers, and threw for over 300 yards for the fourth straight game this season.

One reason to get excited: Second-year corner Jason Verrett followed Steve Smith most of the game. Although he gave up a 46-yard completion to Smith, Verrett played solid overall, finishing with seven combined tackles and three pass breakups.

Run defense shows improvement: The Chargers entered Sunday’s contest against the Ravens giving up an average of 132 rushing yards a contest, third-worst in the NFL. However, San Diego’s defense held the Ravens to 72 rushing yards. Nose tackle Ryan Carrethers led the Chargers with seven combined tackles.

Fantasy watch: After not starting last week against the Oakland Raiders due to an ankle injury and fumbling issues, Melvin Gordon was back in the starting lineup against the Ravens. The rookie running back looked tentative and struggled, finishing with 18 carries for 54 yards.

Ouch: The most significant injury was to leading receiver Keenan Allen, who appeared to reinjure a hip flexor at the end of the first half on a 13-yard touchdown catch and did not return. The Chargers announced that Allen was suffering from muscle spasms. Left tackle King Dunlap suffered a left ankle injury on San Diego’s first drive and did not return. Dunlap missed three games this season with a concussion. Defensive lineman Corey Liuget also suffered a foot injury in the opening quarter and did not return. Chris Watt was in for one play at left guard, but injured his shoulder and did not return. Stevie Johnson (shoulder) and Chris Hairston (ankle) also suffered injuries in the first quarter, but they returned.