The Baltimore Ravens travel to Kansas City to take on the Kansas City Chiefs on January 9th for their NFL Wild Card Playoffs match up. The Baltimore Ravens bring a hard hitting opportunistic defense into Arrowhead Stadium but their anemic offense may be to their detriment in this perceived battle of “David Versus Goliath.”
The Kansas City Chiefs will be seeking respect in their first NFL Playoffs game since 2006. Matt Cassel’s productivity has been overlooked because of his explosive running back tandem of Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles. The Kansas City Chiefs running game is the best in the NFL and has set the tone for the Kansas City Chiefs AFC West title run.
Kansas City Chiefs Offense vs Baltimore Ravens Defense
Chaos and controversy is swirling around the Kansas City Chiefs offense as they prepare to host their NFL Wild Card Playoffs game. Charlie Weis, the architect of the Kansas City Chiefs offense has opted to leave and coach the offense for the Florida Gators. A move many in the NFL to question his lateral move. Rumors have run rampant of a serious philosophical difference between head coach Todd Haley and Weis.
Amidst the speculation the Kansas City Chiefs offense must prepare to face Ray Lewis, Ed Reed and the Baltimore Ravens defense. Jamaal Charles is the second leading rusher in the NFL and he enters the NFL Playoffs with fresh legs but the Kansas City Chiefs passing game has been one dimensional. Dwayne Bowe has been Cassel’s favorite target and when he is double covered the passing game is effectively shut down.
Ray Lewis is getting older but he is still one of the most intimidating NFL linebackers. Lewis can still create confusion across the middle and even the bravest of receivers thinks twice before running a crossing route in Lewis vicinity. The Baltimore Ravens run defense has been better than their passing defense this season. Against the run the Baltimore Ravens are holding teams to 95 yards per game.
The return of Ed Reed to the defense halfway through the season was not an immediate success. Reed took time to adjust as did his Baltimore Ravens secondary teammates. Once Reed acclimated to the secondary he was once again the most dangerous deep cover safety in the NFL. Reed ended his injury shortened season with eight interceptions to lead the NFL. The Baltimore Ravens defense has the edge over the Kansas City Chiefs offense.
Kansas City Chiefs Defense vs Baltimore Ravens Offense
Defense for the Kansas City Chiefs has been average this season. In two of their last four games the Kansas City Chiefs have been pounded by their AFC West rivals. The San Diego Chargers beat them 31-0 and the Oakland Raiders beat them 31-10.
The Kansas City Chiefs defense ranks 17th against the pass giving up 220 yards per game but their young secondary has been improving over the second half of the NFL regular season. Run defense for the Kansas City Chiefs is not much better. They are allowing 110 yards per game and they rank 14th against the run.
Joe Flacco has not progressed as a quarterback this season as expected. The Baltimore Ravens pass offense ranks 20th among NFL offenses and they have failed to take advantage of their many offensive weapons this season. Anquan Boldin was expected to be a 1,200 yard receiver this season but he ended the season with just 837 yards receiving.
Also a disappointment until late in the NFL regular season was Ray Rice. Rice turned it on late in the season and rushed for 1,220 yards. The Baltimore Ravens rushing attack has improved late in the season and they will need to turn up the heat on an average rushing game. The running game for the Baltimore Ravens ranked 14th in the NFL regular season averaging 114 yards per game. The Baltimore Ravens offense has a slight edge over the Kansas City Chiefs defense.
Batimore Ravens 2.5 vs Kansas City Chiefs: Pick Against the Spread & Breakdown
The Las Vegas Hilton Superbook has made the Baltimore Ravens a two and a half point favorite over the home team Kansas City Chiefs. The Kansas City Chiefs are 9-7 against the spread overall in the NFL regular season and they are 5-3 against the spread in Arrowhead Stadium.
The Baltimore Ravens are 8-7-1 against the spread overall this season and they are 5-2-1 against the spread on the road. Look for the Baltimore Ravens to employ a straight forward rushing attack early in this game and they will control the clock in the first half to take the very loud Arrowhead Stadium crowd out of the game. Take the Baltimore Ravens -2.5 points over the Kansas City Chiefs.
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