The Kansas City Chiefs, have proven a lot of people wrong. Amidst, Offensive Coordinator departures, Larry Johnson’s twitter rampages, empty seats at Arrowhead & a seething mistrust of both Head Coach Todd Haley and Quarterback, Matt Cassel ;The Chiefs have become AFC West Champions.
Improbable, really, that the Chiefs have been able to enter the NFL tournament. How can the Chiefs beat the Baltimore Ravens in the Wild Card Round?
One key to victory is being true to how the Chiefs play football. That involves running the football. I don’t know what was going on with the offensive line for the Raiders game, but that kind of performance won’t stand against the Ravens.
I find the Raiders game to be quite an anomaly, as the OL has given consistent protection to Cassel for much the last half of the season. Cassel has gotten so much better at sitting in the pocket, being patient & judiciously choosing his reads. Protection, was the cause of that. If the Chief’s offensive line can protect Cassel, it will bode well. The hard part is, the Ravens have traditionally prided themselves on their defensive abilities. The Ravens can put up a flurry of hurries and sacks if need be, and when you have Ed Reed in the secondary, you hope your QB can make split-second decisions correctly.
I believe Cassel can do that, Bowe has exceeded everyones expectations, and Moeaki must be a factor for the Chiefs to win. For Jamaal Charles, he must get the carries and the OL should try to give him the looks and holes to succeed. Another key to victory? The Raven’s defense has always been stalwart, we should expect a very stifling and cut-throat defensive resistance from the Baltimore Ravens.
I expect the Ravens to stack the box early, cut the running game out forcing Matt Cassel to throw. Most of us probably expect that as well, so that will be another key. Can we spread the Raven’s defense out enough? Can Cassel reincarnate back to his former efficient self as he displayed most of the last half of the season? One of the Chief’s biggest strengths have been play-action. Cassel does a terrific job at it, and the offense does a brilliant job at selling it. That must be a factor, but, the Chiefs need to establish the running game early in order for that to happen.
Raven’s offense doesn’t bother me much, happily. I feel the Chargers and sometimes the Raiders have had better offense than Flacco’s offense. Many people might overlook, that the Chief’s defense performed well against the Raiders. I felt they did well. If the offense could’ve performed better, perhaps opinions would be shaded differently.
Eric Berry is looking fwd to this Ravens game, he’ll be taking notes no doubt, and looking to prove some things himself. Brandon Carr has been playing quite well as of lately. Flowers has been a reliable corner; versatile & very aware of his surroundings. Tamba Hali was denied a Pro Bowl berth, yet, he really provided some pressure on Raiders QB, Campbell. Derrick Johnson has been fabulous this season.
Bottom line; Chiefs defense while nowhere near the sheer dominance of the 97 team, gives me reason to cheer. They are young, they can play defense well. The main keys is this; can the Chiefs establish the running game early? Can Cassel get the protection he needs? Can the Chiefs throw on 1st down because they expect Raven’s stacking the box? Ultimately, Chief’s keys to a win is running early, throwing often to keep the Raven’s defense honest & giving Cassel time to do that. Chiefs can win this game, Arrowhead will probably be packed for the 1st time in a while...this is definitely a winnable game. not easily so, but definitely winnable.