This year's Baltimore Ravens game will be a little different for the Kansas City Chiefs because it's the offense more than the defense that scares me. When you think of the Ravens, you think of defense. But Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense are the real stars these days
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That's not to say the defense isn't special -- they are -- but it's the offense that has me worried this weekend. Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel talked about the challenges of facing a quarterback that can make every throw.
"We have to definitely get back and stay deep," Crennel said, via comments sent out by the Chiefs, "so that they do not run past us and catch balls and make big plays. Now, what that does is that opens it up underneath a little bit, and now you have to use your guys' knowledge and effort to rally to the ball when they're throwing underneath."
Therein lies the problem (did I use "therein" right?). You can stop one part of their offense -- the deep ball or the shorter, intermediate stuff. It's a whole other issue stopping both.
"They throw it down the field, but the thing is, if you're covering down the field, they'll throw it short to Rice, then Rice
usually gains about 10 or 12 yards on every check down. So, that complicates everything more because they can go deep, they can go intermediate, they can go short. All of those have been producing for them. I think you have to take away the deep ball, so you don't give up those big plays and try to rally to the underneath things - (Anquan) Boldin underneath, Rice - and you rally to those and try to hold down the yardage."
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So the deep ball is priority No. 1. You don't want to get beat on the big play. The Chiefs will have to stay deep to avoid that, which makes me wonder how they're going to use Eric Berry in this game -- closer to the line of scrimmage more often or playing deep?
I go back to that 2011 playoff game between the Chiefs and Ravens and see Flacco completed 25-of-34 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns to no picks. Quite an efficient day. The Chiefs were able to take away the deep ball for most of the afternoon but Flacco dinked and dunked his way throughout the day.
And we should mention that Flacco is a lot better than he was back then.