There wasn’t much to like about the Ravens’ performance in Kansas City yesterday. If not for the Kyle Boller-like performance of Matt Cassel, we could add the ugliness that unfolded at Arrowhead Stadium on a picturesque Sunday to John Harbaugh’s list of road losses against vastly inferior opponents.
Fortunately, Cassel showed up much to the dismay of the 65,000 or so dressed in fire engine red.
Speaking of the Chiefs fans, Baltimore can take some twisted solace knowing that ours isn’t the only town that is home to sick “fans” who cheer a quarterback’s injury. I get the frustration and it’s actually tempting to give this week’s “Megan Fox Award” to Cassel. But just like it was inhumane for Baltimore to cheer Boller’s injury back in 2005, Chiefs’ fans, claimed by many to be the Nation’s best, put their inner-Philadelphia on full display yesterday.
And Eric Winston clearly noticed…
THE GOOD: Paul Kruger turned in his best overall performance of the season with 5 tackles, 3 of which were for a loss. He also added a QB Hurry…Haloti Ngata had 4 tackles, one for a loss, completely blowing up a run by Jamaal Charles for a minus 5 on scorecard…Justin Tucker connected on all 3 FGAs.
THE BAD: Joe Flacco wasn’t helped by a couple of Anquan Boldin drops and 2 others (Ray Rice, Vonta Leach) but as he often does when facing double man press coverage, he predetermines where he’s going with the football and then force feeds it. Yesterday it resulted in a Brandon Flowers INT… Kelechi Osemele was schooled by Tamba Hali and Justin Houston. Let’s hope he learned something.
Terrence Cody is beginning to look like a bust. He has done very little as a Raven. Sidekick Maake Kemoeatu seemed to spend more time on his back than on his feet…Ray Lewis and Jameel McClain were driven by Chiefs guards, particularly in the first half…Cary Williams is a marked man and his effort against Dwayne Bowe that resulted in a P.I. in the end zone will invite more of the same during the weeks ahead.
THE UGLY: Cam Cameron still has no answer for press coverage and continues to ignore the real estate inside the numbers despite having receivers who navigate that territory effectively. The Chiefs couldn’t stay with Ray Rice and why he wasn’t a bigger part of the passing game, particularly with screens to quiet the Chiefs’ pass rush, is a mystery. The same can be said for bubble screens to the wideouts, or the lack thereof. The Chiefs’ coverage invited it and the Ravens tried it once for sizeable gain to Torrey Smith. But that was called back after a Boldin block in the back.
At one point prior to the Ravens final possession they were 1 of 9 on third down conversions…Deonte Thompson’s decision-making and execution of late makes him a very questionable “up” on the 46-man active game day roster. Will Sergio Kindle ever see the field?…Knowing that the only person on the Chiefs’ offense who could really beat the Ravens yesterday was Jamaal Charles and then nearly allowing him to do exactly that is inexcusable. The Chiefs ran it 34 times for 179 yards IN THE FIRST HALF and controlled the clocked for 19:19 during the game’s opening 30 minutes.
THE MEGAN FOX: The Ravens had 17 fewer meaningful plays than the Chiefs and the blame for that can be found in the team’s struggles on third down which can be attributed to Cameron’s inability to get the ball in Ray Rice’s hands more. Rice had 17 runs for 102 yards (6.0 per attempt) and one reception for 16 yards. It was really hard to find a “Megan” in this game but of the 46 who were up, the nod goes to No. 27