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Week 1: Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens

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Sunday September 13, 2009 1:00 PM
Line: Ravens -10.5
It’s been 7 months and 24 days since the AFC Championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Each moment since has been spent preparing for this weekend. Football season has officially returned, and that means it’s time to go to work.
This Sunday the Chiefs of Kansas City come to take on the Ravens of Baltimore. By statistics alone this meeting promises to be a mismatch of gargantuan proportions. On one hand the Ravens seem like a team on the cusp of greatness, on the other, the Chiefs are a team in turmoil.
Despite the David and Goliath undertones this week’s game has taken on, it is still an NFL matchup, and as the saying goes, on any given Sunday… With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Ravens Gab keys to the game.
Keys to the Game:
Control the Ball, Control the Game
It’s no secret that the Ravens like to run the football. To win this game and put it away early the Ravens must stay true to their identity and hammer the Chiefs with the bruising combination attack of Ray Rice, Willis McGahee, and Le’Ron McClain. If they can manage to suck the life out of the ball and control the clock, it should be a relatively smooth Sunday. The Chiefs have upgraded their defense over the offseason, but all signs point to the Ravens being able to dominate in their usual fashion.
Win the Battle Early
The biggest mistake the Ravens can make on Sunday is to look past the Chiefs. This is a team who has literally nothing left to lose, and that makes them a potentially dangerous squad. No one, and I mean no one, believes that the Chiefs can beat the Ravens on Sunday. If the Ravens begin to buy into their own hype, they could position themselves for a nasty upset. To prevent that from happening, the Ravens have to come out hungry and put the game away early.
Blitz
The Chiefs’ Offensive Line is one of the biggest question marks the team has going into the Regular Season. A unit in turmoil should be easily exploited by a dangerous and hungry Ravens defense. To do this, Greg Mattison needs to dial it up to ten and take the offense out of the game from moment one. Rattling the Chiefs at the point of attack will make it extremely difficult for them to put up the effort necessary to topple the Ravens.
Do Not Let Up
No quarter must be given to Kansas City. No matter how unlikely it may seem for the Chiefs to win, the Ravens must bury them. Scoring once or twice early will not be enough. The Ravens must crush their opponent and provide no means for a comeback. In the past the Ravens have allowed bad teams to re-emerge in games after half time. This cannot happen on Sunday.
Contain Larry Johnson
He may have lost a step, he may be a bit of a whiner, he may even be as durable as tissue paper, however it is none the less true that the last time Larry Johnson played the Ravens, he gashed them for over 100 yards rushing. If the Chiefs have any hopes of wining, Johnson will have to have a monster day against the #2 Run Defense in the NFL. Keeping Johnson contained must be priority one.
Ravens Gab Predictions:

Jonathon Scruggs
Based on what we know about the Chiefs, and based on what we know about the Ravens, there is no legitimate scenario one can imagine wherein Kansas City upsets Baltimore on Sunday. Joe Flacco and company would have to lay one gargantuan egg for there to be any hope of an upset.
The Chiefs will have to rely on their running game to win many games this season. We’ve seen how well that works when teams attempt to run on the Ravens (Brandon Jacobs not withstanding).
Final Score: Ravens 34 — Chiefs 10

Matt Jergensen

The Ravens have plenty on their side going into the home opener. The defense should be in full attack mode against a questionable right side of the line as well as Matt Cassell being a game-time decision. Baltimore’s offense should be able to establish the run and maybe take a few shots down the field early. I’d expect a gadget or two out of Coach Cam’s playbook.

For Kansas City to have a chance in this one they must limit mistakes and get the Ravens to turn it over. They will also need to establish the run with a declining Larry Johnson, which is a tough task for any team.

Baltimore looks healthy (only L.J. Smith should be out) heading into Sunday, while KC is still adjusting the depth charts. One thing about Harbaugh’s team last season was they could blow teams out if they caused the opponent to give up the football. If the Chiefs aren’t careful this could get ugly.

Ravens 31  Chiefs 10

Gene Winner

I thought of the line from Rocky III.  When they asked Clubber Lang about predictions before the fight.  As Clubber Lang said, “Predictions, “PAIN.” Ravens win, 34-6.  Ravens are a playoff caliber team and the Chiefs are building to head in that direction. If all goes according to plan we may see Troy Smith in the game to run the Suggs package and then again in the 4th quarter to wrap things up.


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One Response to “Week 1: Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens”

  1. […] number of stories that involved animals. There were the dog Christmas carolers in State … Week 1: Kansas City Chiefs @ Baltimore Ravens » Ravens Gab – baltimoregridironreport.com 09/12/2009 Sunday September 13, 2009 1:00 PM Line: Ravens -10.5 It’s […]

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