Joel Thorman, the SB Nation blogger for the Kansas City Chiefs, contacted me to trade five questions about the Baltimore Ravens game this Sunday afternoon. Here are my questions and his responses. For more great content on this game from a Chiefs perspective, head on over to Arrowhead Pride, which boasts the most traffic of any NFL site on SB Nation.
(Note: My questions are in bold and Thorman's answers are in italics underneath.)
1. Tell me something about the Chiefs offense I don't know.
The Chiefs offense isn't as good as the stats say they are. They're fourth in the NFL in yards but that's not really who they are. The Chiefs offense has struggled plenty this season, especially at quarterback. The fan base is going through one of those uproars right now with Matt Cassel and his play lately, a situation that will probably get him booed if he doesn't play well this weekend against Baltimore.
2. Tell me something about the Chiefs defense I don't know.
The Chiefs defense is better than what the stats say. Yes, they give up 34 points a game but the Chiefs defense has spurts and bits and pieces that look good. They haven't put together a complete game yet but the last two weeks especially the Chiefs defense has improved.
3. Where does QB Matt Cassel rank among NFL QBs right now?
Cassel has to rank near the bottom of the list of NFL starting quarterbacks. Out of veteran quarterbacks, I'd say he has to be the worst and he has the numbers to back it up. He doesn't consistently complete his passes, he doesn't protect the football and he doesn't stretch the field. The Chiefs were built to hide the quarterback, which kinda says it all right there.
4. Who is the most important player on the Chiefs offense?
The most important player on the Chiefs offense is always the quarterback, but let's move onto another one:Jamaal Charles. He's been solid this season when the Chiefs have given him the ball, except for a pair of fumbles from him last weekend. He hasn't been a fumbler lately so I'm willing to write that off as a one game mistake. But Charles is the man and can hurt you like that (as the Ravens found out in the 2010 playoff game).
5. What's your biggest concern with the Ravens right now?
My biggest concern with the Ravens is stopping their defense from killing the Chiefs quarterback. The Chiefs offensive line has been up and down this year, but they've played OK. Cassel struggles quite a bit when facing pressure so that's really what I'm worried about: how will Cassel handle the Ravens blitz?
Bonus: What's your prediction on the game and why?
I wish I could predict a Chiefs win but even if they were 4-0 right now I don't think I would. The Ravens have the Chiefs number. They're too good. Baltimore wins, 31-17.