Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ravens v. Chiefs: It's going to be ugly

This week during the Ravens Rap, aired each Thursday from The Greene Turtle in Ocean City, host Michael Popovec opined that the Ravens really don’t know what to expect today when they host the Kansas City Chiefs.

Mike supported his position by pointing towards the recent and sudden dismissal of offensive coordinator Chan Gailey and the fact that new franchise quarterback Matt Cassel has missed many repetitions since Gailey’s departure due to a knee injury suffered on the third play of the game against the Seahawks on August 28.

Adding to the mix of mystery is head coach Todd Haley’s unknown brand of Chiefs’ offense. There’s no game film to study; no tendencies to lock in on; no indication of what the Chiefs will due given the variety of down and distance scenarios Greg Mattison and his defensive squad will encounter.

Sure Mattison can look to the offenses run by Haley in Arizona but really is that an accurate barometer? Haley packed his bag and sung “I’m going to Kansas City” several months ago and in tow with him was his Cardinals playbook and we all know that AZ could put points on the scoreboard, right?

No doubt, but unfortunately for Haley Messrs. Warner, Fitzgerald, Boldin and Breaston didn’t sing that same song and board that KC bound plane with him. The Chiefs won’t have Warner at the offensive controls practically inviting the blitz so he can deliver on time passes to his unmatched posse of receivers. Instead they will field a gimpy Cassel, a lanky Brody Croyle or the team’s 2007 7th round pick from Coastal Carolina, Tyler Thigpen who has a whopping 15 games of NFL experience.

Ok, so let’s quickly recap…new team, new offense, unsettled QB situation, offensive coordinator fired two weeks ago, no Warner & Co. With all due respect Mike, I know exactly what we can expect from the Ravens v. Chiefs contest today – a dismantling.

It won’t matter who is at quarterback for the Chiefs. They will need to run the football and it won’t happen and when it doesn’t the unfriendly confines of M&T Bank Stadium will wreak havoc on whoever is standing under center. The Chiefs are a team one year removed from allowing 37 sacks and sacking opposing QB’s only 10 times, an NFL worst. They ranked 31st on defense last year, 30th against the run and 28th against the pass. On offense they were 24th overall. Add it all up and KC was 2-14.
Has that much changed?

And what has Haley done before? He’s entering M&T wearing two hats – head coach and O-Coordinator in his head coaching debut.

Ever see a head coach look like a deer in headlights?

This will be a feeding frenzy for the Ravens’ D and those red Chiefs’ jersey will look like blood to the sharks wearing white. It won’t even be close. Today’s opener will be a leisurely affair for Ravens’ fans – about as nail-biting as an Orioles game against the Kansas City Royals in late August.

You may as well refer to Haley’s crew as the Kansas City Crash Test Dummies. This team stinks!

John Harbaugh will call off the dogs by about 3:30 in a game that will amount to a mercy killing. The Ravens defense scores, Joe Flacco inspires fans to dream of Miami and the Ravens enjoy a casual walk in the park while they chat about a west coast trip to San Diego over cups of cold Gatorade while enveloped in a power fan-blown cool mist on their comfy sideline.

Ravens 38, Chiefs 6


Jerry B said...

Should have been a romp, but it wasn't! The good - Joe Flacco, who is already the real deal and will keep getting better! The bad - questionable play calling in the first half that had them passing on almost every down; they had much more success in the second half with a balanced attack. The ugly - special teams, which are anything but! Next week will provide a better test of how far this team is from being characterized as, "elite", which I think could be measured in "miles".....

NestMinder said...

Well, you got the Ravens' score right, Tony!

It turns out that the "unknown" aspects of the Chiefs offense were just enough, along with some fluky mistakes from the Ravens, to keep this one close for far longer than the stat sheet would imply.

Plenty of tape out there on the SD offense though, and more to be gained tonight. As I'm sure the Ravens and their coaches will be doing, I'll be watching closely as they take on Oakland. Hopefully the lowly Raiders can make a game out of it so Norv doesn't get to rest his guys early for next week.