All NFL games start out in the trenches. From the snap of the ball bodies collide and the ability of the offensive line to create extra seconds for their quarterback will usually determine the outcome of a game. If you have a half decent quarterback that is.
In Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco's line is giving him the least amount of time to get rid of the ball of any quarterback in the NFL thus far with a time between two and three seconds. Matt Ryan leads the league with averaging about four seconds per play to find a receiver with Tom Brady right behind him.
Yet somehow Flacco is still second in the league in passing yards and is converting over 60% of his throws. That is a pretty amazing statistic especially since Flacco is plagued with a slow throwing motion. Well, that has been what most have said about him up until now any way.
The first and most important match up to win is in the trenches however. If the Ravens can give Joe more time he will pick the Chiefs apart and the Ravens will leave Kansas City at 4-1. If the line crumbles, due to crowd noise or just plain getting beat, the Ravens will struggle and may lose.
The same thing goes for the defense. If the Ravens are able to pressure Matt Cassel and force some turnovers or at least a lot of three and outs they will win. If Cassel is aloud time to throw, even he will make the Ravens pay with Dwayne Bowe and the rest of their receiving core.
The Ravens will most likely back off the nickle coverage this week a bit. They will first and foremost try to contain Jamaal Charles and the Chiefs running game. Then see if Matt Cassel can beat them through the air. The trenches must be won, as usual.