Ravens Play Great Team Game

January 10, 2011 | Michael Schwartz

The NFL’s best running team in the Chiefs versus a stout Ravens defense. The Chiefs offense had a early touchdown in the first when Jamaal Charles broke a 41 yard run. The Ravens knew going into this game that they needed to stop Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs rushing attack. After this play the Ravens knew if they didn’t make adjustments it would be a long day. After that the Ravens didn’t let the Chiefs score again. The defense shut down the Chiefs run game and pass game. Cassell threw for 70 yards and the Chiefs ran for 108 yards. Their total net yards were 161, and that is less than half of their season average. The Ravens defense forced 5 turnovers, 3 interceptions and 2 fumbles. The Ravens defense sacked Cassell 3 times and another thing the Ravens defense did well was holding the Chiefs on third down conversions. The Chiefs were 1/8 on third down. The Ravens defense got after the quarterback and that is because Greg Mattison dialed up the blitz. It is something that he hasn’t done all year but he did it and it worked. The Chiefs definitely weren’t expecting the Ravens defense to dial up the blitz and stopping the passing game. Dwayne Bowe didn’t have one reception and that is something that the Ravens emphasized. They were putting Ed Reed as a deep safety on Bowe’s side. The defense had a great plan on how to contain Bowe and the whole Chiefs offense.

The Ravens offense played great in all aspects of offense. Joe Flacco didn’t throw any interceptions, but he fumbled when Tamba Hali came off the edge and stripped it. This led to the Jamaal Charles touchdown but that was the only mistake Flacco made. The Ravens were not running the ball particularly well, but they still had the Chiefs biting on the play action. Todd Heap was unstoppable, he had 10 receptions for 108 yards. The Ravens finally got Anquan Boldin involved. He had 5 receptions for 64 yards and a touchdown. He is going to have to do the same next week if the Ravens want to win. Ray Rice caught 5 balls out of the backfield for 42 yards including a touchdown on a third and 2. The offense possessed the ball for more than 40 minutes and that kept the defense fresh and it showed because the were able to force 5 turnovers. The Ravens offensive line allowed 4 sacks and the Steelers have a much better pass rush than the Chiefs and the Ravens will need to protect Flacco a lot better. The Ravens played a great game overall and have a good chance against the Steelers if they can play the same offense they played versus the Chiefs.  The Ravens played this game for Ed Reed and the Ravens linebackers coach who lost a family member this past week.

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