The Chiefs were extremely lucky to have miraculously finish of the season without an key injuries. Today, they will face a team that has suffered immense casualties. The Ravens won 12 games this year- only one of four teams to do so this year- yet they are the 5th seed in the AFC. Well, let’s get into another breakdown.
Michael Oher, Ben Grubbs, and Matt Birk make up a very good left side of the offensive line. The right side is decent. The injury to left tackle Justin Gaither really hurt the Ravens, but their offensive line isn’t a question mark. The Chiefs have one of the worst defensive lines in the league. The reason why they have a good pass rush is because of Tamba Hali. I think he should be able to get a few good hurries in that could force Flacco to make some mistakes. However, I don’t think he will be as instrumental as he is in other games.
The way the Ravens win this game is by focusing their offensive gameplan on Ray Rice. They need to give him the ball against an extremely weak Chiefs’ run defense. This should be Rice’s day. Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry should be able to contain an underperforming Ravens’ receiving corpse. I think Anquan Boldin will be the only factor for the Ravens from a receiving standpoint. Derrick Mason doesn’t look 100 percent.
Speaking of not being fully healthy, Todd Heap may not play this game. This means that the best linebacker in the league in terms of coverage- Derrick Johnson- should be able to help take care of the receivers. I really don’t think rookie Ed Dickson proves anything resembling a threat to Johnson. Joe Flacco should be able to do an average job. The main thing is that Flacco wins games. He knows how to win, and he doesn’t need big stats to prove it.
Jarret Johnson, Terrell Suggs, Haloti Ngata, and Kelly Gregg may be the only guys that can stop the unrealistic season that Jamaal Charles is having. Luckily for them, Thomas Jones gets significant carries, and well, he just stinks. The problem for them is that Charles is able to get heaps of yardage on a modest amount of carries. Johnson, Ngata, and gang should be geared in for this matchup. Charles will play well, but he won’t dominate these guys. As for TJ, well this might be the game he decides he’s too old.
The Chiefs’ offensive line is pretty good one. They play in sync, and they don’t have any terrible players. The left side of the line- Branden Albert, Brian Waters, and Casey Wiegmann- are a tough force to stop. I think Terrell Suggs and the rest of the pass rush will do solid simply because Suggs is just so dominant.
The only wide receiver on the Chiefs to watch is Dwayne Bowe. I don’t think he will have too good of a day as Reed, Landry, and Wilson know how to play a tough zone D. He is the Chiefs’ only legitimate wide receiver, so the Ravens will be able to focus in on him without there being poor ramifications. Tony Moeaki should have a decent game, unless if the Ravens decide to bring up Landry on him. That’s when things won’t be pretty.
The Ravens need to have Reed help out the Chris Carr. He is the weak link in the Ravens’ secondary. Josh Wilson can hold his own. I think the Chiefs are a good team, but this is a Ravens team that is prepared for the playoffs. Baltimore play like a number two seed, not a number five seed. Therefore, I am taking the Ravens.
Prediction: 27 Ravens 21 Chiefs MVP: Ray Rice