The Kansas City Chiefs defense came into today's game against the Baltimore Ravens thinking it was going to be a knock down, drag out fight fought in the trenches with the running game. To their surprise, Joe Flacco set a career high for passing attempts.
The Ravens offense was riddled with no huddle and shotgun formations which was a surprise.
Mike Vrabel was asked (quotes courtesy of the Mothership) if they were surprised by the Ravens suddenly aggressive offensive attack.
"I would say yes," Vrabel told reporters after the game. "We had planned for a running game with the balance they showed last year."
That balance last year was actually a heavily favored running game. The Ravens were 30th in pass attempts last season and 28th in yardage. They were also ranked No. 1 in rush attempts, and fourth in yardage, so you can see how the Chiefs would envision an offense focused more on the run.
The Ravens offense definitely found their niche in the passing game and that was the play action pass.
"There was a lot of play action pass so we got some stuff coming in that we weren't anticipating thinking they were going to run the ball and then they run play action pass," Vrabel said.
"We gotta convert and rush and cover and do all those things that you get when you get play action passes."
Here's how the Ravens stacked up in rushing attempts versus total plays on a few drives:
- First drive: 2/9
- Third drive: 1/4
- Fourth drive: 1/4
- Fifth drive: 3/13
And you get the drift. Many of these passing plays were done via play action pass and that seemed to especially get to the Chiefs defense at times.