The Ravens will be facing off this weekend against the 7 game win streak Chiefs. The loss of Jamaal Charles at this point no longer damaging, yet instead a catalyst for the phoenix to rise from the ashes. The Ravens not enthralled to be battling against this squad, especially with clipped wings.
What is the best route for defense against these Chiefs? Don't let their defense get going. Between a fearsome front with Hali, Houston, and Poe the Ravens do not want to be up against such a powerful front. The numbers are nowhere near last seasons, but Houston is still wreaking havoc off the edge. Even last week he returned an interception for a touchdown.
Another way is to absolutely force Alex Smith to pass. The run game with even the loss of Jamaal Charles is fine. Current back Charcandrick West is averaging 3.9 YPC and already showing 460 yards. Spencer Ware is also doing well with 312 yards on 51 carries resulting in 6.1 YPC. Ware has also accomplished 5 rushing touchdowns. Ware did have X-rays on the bruised ribs yesterday and they came up negative. He is currently questionable for the game, but this means nothing with Charcandrick doing so well.Either way, the Ravens absolutely need to stop the run, forcing the team to become one dimensional.
The Ravens haven't won at forcing the pass, as Travis Kelce & Jeremy Maclin both are looking great with a combined stat line of: 131 catches, 1,684 yards, 9 touchdowns. Maclin is a talented #1 receiver, and Travis Kelce is easily becoming what we all want Crockett Gillmore to be. These players are quintessential to the Ravens success or failure.
The Ravens may be outmatched, but they also play with the most grit. The indomitable spirit where the down and out are still fighting, playing, battling to become a Sunday winner.
I expect the Ravens to fight it out, but there will be 3-4 plays in which absolutely decides the game. An extra conversion on 3rd or 4th down. A heaving pass to put one team or the other in the redzone. An extra second of blocking to allow a receiver to get open. This game won't be decided in touchdowns, but rather on conversions of the run game.