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Dime Coverage: Postgame Thoughts on Ravens/Chiefs

Cary Williams Gets His 2nd pick of the Season.

U-G-L-Y.

That’s a word that being used quite liberally today by pundits and experts when describing the Ravens 9-6 victory over the Kansas City and it should be. It was simply a horrifyingly bad game to watch and even worse for a fan of Chiefs since they were on the wrong side of the decision. At least we can say we got the victory, which is all that matters.

Of course I can’t stop there because then my post would be complete and we’d have nothing left to talk about.

So let’s dive right in shall we.

  • One thing we learned about yesterday’s win is that the Ravens are a very different team away from Baltimore. This isn’t much of a shock for most fans and yes, I agree that winning on the road is tough in the NFL. But these Chiefs simply couldn’t get out of their own way yesterday and while I have to credit the Baltimore defense for making adjustments in the second half they can’t take any credit for fumbling a snap on the 1-yard line. They game should have not been that close and even if the offense scored one touchdown the situation wouldn’t have seemed quite so bad. This all makes me wonder if the only way the Ravens can get to the Super Bowl is if they secure a Number One seed. That gives them Home Field advantage throughout and since the Ravens can’t seem to lose at home then a trip to New Orleans is assured.
  • Joe Flacco had an off day. The stat line isn’t pretty – 13 for 27 (48%) for 187 yards and 1 interception. He stared his receivers down at times and his mechanics were stiff due to pressure from all sides.  He also held the ball too long sometimes too. Flacco had plenty of help from poor lineplay, penalties, and lack of pass catching  to deliver such an underwhelming QB Rating of 55.6. The lack of production was very much a group effort. I will give Joe credit for the biggest play of the game on 3rd and 15 when he sprinted out to just get the First Down to keep the clock moving to seal the win. Whatever it takes sometimes.
  • Ray Rice was very good once again with 17 rushes for 102 (6.0) and probably could have gotten a few more carries. His final two rushes sealed the deal and allowed Baltimore to at least walk out a winner.
  • The Ravens receivers made a few nice catches but always struggle against press coverage. If the opposition has a strong physical corner then don’t expect people to get free. Anquan Boldin had 4 grabs for 82 yards but he also dropped two fairly easy balls as well. The usual checkdowns and screens to Rice didn’t seem to be in the cards either as he only caught 1 pass. Maybe it’s time to use the bunch formations and slight picks to get some guys free against this type of defense. (Just a thought)
  • The Offensive Line was inconsistent for the second game straight. They struggled with speed on the outside as they gave up four sacks. They need improved play from Oher and Osemele on the outside if they hope to throw as much as they want to. Otherwise Cam may want to run it a bit more.
  • Jamaal Charles simply owned the First Half. The Front Seven had to embarrased as it gave up 100 yards rushing before Halftime! To their credit they made adjustments and shut the run game down which meant they shut the Kansas City offense down.
  • The linebacking corps looked especially bad early on as they either arm tackled too much or got blown off the ball. Paul Kruger had his most complete game to date and finished with five tackles, three for a loss, and a quarterback hit. Rookie Courtney Upshaw seems to get better each week.
  • The Corners performance was still a bit iffy. Cary Williams looked better in press coverage but got called for Pass Interference when he didn’t turn around to see the ball in the endzone. Lardarius Webb had another off-game as well even though both he and Williams got a pick each for the stat sheet. Each should send Matt Cassel a Thank You card.
  • Justin Tucker was perfect and thank goodness he was going 3 for 3 on Field Goals. Deonte Thompson had a tough day as he fumbled to open the second half  and ran into his blocker on another return. He was also flagged for holding on a punt. Not good.
  • Probably the most frustrating part of the game was watching the Chiefs gain yardage using such a one-dimensional approach. As I said adjustments were made but going in EVERYONE knew that getting the ball in Charles hands was the game plan. Still for all that yardage the Ravens turned them over 4 times and only gave up 6 points. That means that the Chiefs fans were even more frustrated. The boo birds in Kanasas City were out in full force. They booed draw plays on 3rd and 8. They booed pitch outs on 3rd and 15. The only time they cheered was when Matt Cassel was removed from the game due to injury. Stay Classy K.C. I was in the stands when B-More fans gave the same treatment to Kyle Boller. It’s low-rent to say the least.
  • (EXTRA POINT) The tag team of Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts were somewhere below decent. Granted they had a poor game to call, filled with turnovers, penalties, and low scoring but it’s their job. Eagle is at least enthusiastic sometimes but Fouts doesn’t do much of anything except mumble tired cliches.

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