Nuge's Nuggets: Ravens Whip Chiefs

At least Chiefs fans got to see one playoff team today, as the Baltimore Ravens did exactly what they were supposed to and crushed the Chiefs 20-10. With the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals and New York Jets taking care of business, the Chiefs' playoff hopes all but evaporated with the loss.

I know mathematically the Chiefs are still in the hunt, but realistically, they aren't, and it's time to start looking to next year.

On the bright side, running back Larry Johnson scrapped to gain the most yards gained on the Ravens this year (120), but unfortunately even he couldn't find the end zone. The Ravens stacked the line and made sure that # 27 wouldn't be the guy today, and the rest of the Chiefs wilted under the pressure.

I'm going to give it to you straight. The Ravens absolutely pantsed this Chiefs team in front of a national television audience. It was apparent almost from pregame warm-ups that the Ravens were the better football team. Watching the two teams, the Ravens were looser and more confident. There was even talk in the locker room that the Chiefs were actually afraid of the Ravens, and once the Chiefs missed that field goal, what little fight they had was taken away.

"When they missed that field goal, when they got the first drive and Dante broke the big run, when they got down there and didn't capitize on that, that gave up momentum, that kind of gave us momentum," said Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. "It kind of switched the game at that point.

The Chiefs have three games left, including a tough road game next week against the San Diego Chargers. The Chiefs have given every indication that they will lose that game. I won't say give up the fight just yet, and I expect the Chiefs won't lay down for the rest of the season, but at this point it's time for Chiefs Nation to put one eye on next year.


Lewis had an interesting take on the Chiefs' passing game, particularly the way the Ravens forced Chiefs quarterback Trent Green to really struggle today. Baltimore attacked Green all day long, sacking him five times and getting in his face most of the day. The leader of the Ravens defense was pleased with the way they were able to ground the Chiefs passing attack.

The Ravens weren't convinced that Green was his old self after missing a big chunk of the season, even after his 297-yard, four-touchdown performance last week in Cleveland. In fact, they pressed the issue, getting after Green from the beginning, and it had an effect. The Ravens forced two bad interceptions, one where Green badly overthrew receiver Eddie Kennison, the other when Green tried to force the ball into tight coverage.

"You started to see it," said Lewis. "You really started to see him get rattled, throwing the ball high, throwing the ball low, high, outside, things like that, and then anytime you throw the ball up in the back end, our secondary's going to come down with it nine times out of ten. I think we really did a good job getting after him."


Dante Hall actually had a better game today. The Ravens played him perfectly in the kickoff game, though, kicking the ball short and forcing Hall to come up close to the wedge. That limits Hall's ability to read the seam and make big plays. Other than the long return on the first kick of the day, the Ravens were able to hold Hall in check. Top Stories