Sunday, January 9, 2011

Playoff Recap: Ravens/Chiefs

Time for the Sunday Wildcard games.  Up first is Baltimore at Kansas City (who would have predicted this matchup in the preseason?).  I've got my homemade wings and beer ready, so let's kick this baby off!

1.  The best teams make the playoffs.  The best refs are selected to officiate the games.  CBS picks Phil Simms. Why, oh why did CBS have to rebel and buck the trend of selecting the top performers?  I may have to watch this game on mute.

2.  The Chiefs haven't won a playoff game since the 1993 season.  That means that I was at the game (1993 AFC Championship game) when the losing streak began.  The final was Buffalo-30, Kansas City-13.  That was the game that Bruce Smith incapacitated Joe Montana concussionularly.

3.  Fantastic goal line stand by Kansas City.  The last thing you want to do as a home team (and underdog, mind you) is give up an opening touchdown drive.  On 3rd down, I was looking for the play action pass, and apparently, the defense was as well.  From that part of the field, if I had a nasty o-line, I'd have used McClain to pound it thrice.  For the record, I texted my buddy who is a Ravens fan to confirm that McClain isn't inactive today.  He confirmed that 1. He is active, and 2. My question is completely justified given the play selection.

4.  A few years ago, all the draft experts and fans were saying Ray Rice was too small to be an effective NFL running back.  I wanted Buffalo to take him because he's one hell of a player.  I stand by my analysis.  I wonder whether all the naysayers from a few years ago stand by theirs.

5.  Was that a flea flicker or a RB option?  Someone needs to tell the RB to never pitch it to the QB on an option play.  Also, Jamaal Charles is a beast.  Not five seconds after I typed about how he shouldn't be pitching the ball, he takes my advice and goes a long, long way.  Also, you can't afford to turn the ball over in the playoffs.  I think I just saw a blood vessel pop in Ray Lewis's forehead on the sideline just now.  (update: Did the Chiefs not see my comment on ball security *or last year's NFC championship game*???)

6.  Do the Chiefs have 3 guys on the field wearing Berry jerseys at any point in time?  It certainly seems like they do.

7.  I know I've talked about ball security already, but you intercept a ball THEN fumble it and give it right back?  That's like giving up a big completion.  Shame on you, Mr. Nakamura.  Whichever team first decides to protect its balls will win this game.  (update: and another Chiefs fumble...this time in the red zone.  Trouble, my friends...trouble.  And now a pick.)

8.  Going for it in FG territory in the third quarter?  Mistake.  The only way I'd send my offense out is to try a hard count to get an aggressive defense to make an aggression mistake.  And he's stuffed.  Way to go, Mr. Haley.  I like that you would send a signal to show such faith in your offense, but you can't leave points on the board in the playoffs.  I predict that call will come back to haunt you.  (update: Ravens D has been energized since that play, and it's forced two turnovers since...momentum much?)

9.  I just saw Todd Haley lip an "f-bomb" at the refs after a late hit call.  It's funny because he thinks he's Rex Ryan.

10.  As I stated in the original playoff post, the Chiefs are a solid young team that should improve as it ages a little.  For now though, experience wins out.  They're just unraveling and turning the ball over at an incredible (and highly unsustainable if you hope to win) rate.  I reckon this game is over, and it's the start of the fourth quarter.  Ravens/Steelers should be a fun game to watch next week.

11.  Would somebody please tell Tyson Jackson that he's no Andre Johnson?

12.  Another big TD run to ice a game by another ex-Bill.  That said, Marshawn's was still far more impressive and amusing.

Up next:  Packers/Eagles


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