Posts Tagged 'Kansas City Chiefs'

Thoughts on Ravens – Chiefs

WR Mark Clayton hauls in a 31-yard touchdown pass over the Chiefs' Brandon Carr. The score put the Ravens ahead 31-24

WR Mark Clayton hauls in a 31-yard touchdown pass over the Chiefs' Brandon Carr. The score put the Ravens ahead 31-24

Yesterday’s 38-24 win was very satisfying for me as a Ravens fan. Some wouldn’t agree, but I’ll explain a little later. Many people are quick to point out that the ravens were heavy favorites, and that they were given a tough fight by one of the worst teams in football. I don’t share that same opinion.

I wasn’t surprised at all by the Chiefs’ effort yesterday; you can always expect great effort from any NFL team on any given Sunday. I was a little shocked though, with the two long scoring drives they had in the fourth quarter. Fabian Washington seemed to be struggling with coverage and the pass rush was decent but not getting to Brodie Croyle as nearly as quickly as it should have been.

And aside from the special teams mishap which resulted in a blocked punt for a TD, and a poor interception by Joe Flacco which led to another TD, the Ravens looked superb yesterday.

Flacco was very sharp and it definitely looks as if he has a much better feel for the pocket than he did last year. He really know when to scramble, when to throw it away, or when to just take a sack. I loved his touchdown pass to Willis McGahee. It was very Roethlisberger-esque, if that’s a word. He bought himself time, kept his head up and extended the play long enough for a man to open up and he capitalized beautifully for the score.

Ray Rice and Willis McGahee were great; they combined for 152 yards on a score on the ground. While Le’Ron McClain caught 3 passes and rushed 6 times for 42 total yards and a score. The running back by committee works! It really is the heart and soul of the Ravens offense.

Mark Clayton’s beautiful game winning touchdown capped a solid day for the receiving corps. He, Mason, Heap, and Washington combined for 2 TD’s, 17 receptions, and 241 yards!

As I mentioned earlier, the defensive play in the early part of the fourth quarter was cause for concern in my opinion. But let’s go over the performance of this defense on their first four series of the game. Four straight 3 and outs! They did not yield a first down until the 4:38 mark in the 2nd quarter! That is dominant. KC was 2 for 10 on third downs and only made 2 trips to the redzone all day. One of those was courtesy of Joe Flacco, not the D.

So back to my first sentence, you only get better when you make mistakes and learn from them. The Ravens made a few yesterday. 2 of them ended up costing them 14 points. Against tougher teams, it won’t be as easy to put up 38 and negate those two scores. You got to believe head coach John Harbaugh will have these guys ready and even more focused for a west coast trip to play the Chargers next Sunday.

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Week 1: Ravens vs. Chiefs Preview

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Game Info:

Kickoff: 1:05 p.m. (EDT)

Site: M&T Bank Stadium (71,008) Β· Baltimore, MD

TV: CBS

Announcers: Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Rich Gannon (color)

Overview: Baltimore enters the 2009 season with extremely high expectations. After a loss in last year’s AFC Championship Game, the Ravens have their sights set on Miami and Super Bowl XLIV. On the other side of the field, Kansas City is looking to rebound last year’s franchise worst 2-14 record. With a new GM in Scott Pioli, a new head coach in Todd Haley and a new franchise quarterback in Matt Cassel, the future looks bright for this old AFL franchise, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Ravens Offense vs. Chiefs Defense: Look for Joe Flacco to have plenty of time today as he faces a weak front seven. The Chiefs recorded only ten sacks in all of 2008, the fewest in NFL history. If you remember back to last year’s season opener, Cam Cameron had a few tricks up his sleeve which included a Mark Clayton end around. I loved seeing the statue of liberty play in the preseason game vs. the Jets. I would not be surprised to see some fancy formation or trick play today. I was listening to Gerry Sandusky on the radio this morning and he said to look out for what he calls “the I-Gun” formation. The I-Gun has the quarterback in the shotgun, and then directly behind him is a back or a receiver. That brings up the possibility of options and sweeps and other different plays. Ray Rice and Willis McGahee will see a great deal of touches today. The Ravens will rely on them to establish momentum and help set up play-action. And then later to help eat up clock and wear down the Chiefs

Chiefs Offense vs. Ravens Defense: Matt Cassel is going to be a game time decision. I don’t think it will make a difference whether he plays or not. If he does go, he won’t be 100%. Earlier this week, head coach Todd Haley indicated that Tyler Thigpen and Brodie Croyle could both see playing time if Cassel cannot go. The Ravens are healthy on defense and that is very dangerous. Larry Johnson can be one of the premier backs in the league when he is on his game. He was the last running back to gain 100 or more yards on the Ravens.

Prediction: The Ravens are so focused right now. I believe they will win this one 31-10. More to come later today with a recap.

Yahoo Sports Report: Cassel Out For Season Opener

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According to Yahoo Sports’ Jason Cole, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel is going to miss the season opener at Baltimore on September 13 due to a strained MCL. He is slated to miss 2-4 weeks.

The Chiefs next two quarterbacks on the depth chart are Tyler Thigpen and Brodie Croyle, who have a combined 19 career NFL starts. Thigpen would get the starting nod over Croyle if indeed Cassel cannot play. Cassel started 15 games for the Patriots last year in place of the injured Tom Brady and did an excellent job, leading the Pats to an 11-5 record.

This is not the way the Chiefs wanted to begin the Matt Cassel era. They signed him to a six-year, $63 million contract in July. The deal included $28 million in guaranteed money.

I can already hear the Ravens’ defense licking their chops. You saw how much they enjoyed getting after young Mark Sanchez. Just wait til they get a chance to feast on another relatively inexperienced QB.


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