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Ravens vs. Chiefs: Studs and Duds

The Ravens were defeated soundly by the Chiefs today, but that doesn't mean that there wasn't some good play by the home team.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Ravens lost to the Chiefs today in what could be called a not-so-dignified manner. The Ravens simply allowed too many big plays to subsist this contest. The Chiefs scored fourteen points on defense, and frankly, that's fourteen too many.

But that's enough dwelling on the negative facets of today's game. In this time of playing for pride we need to focus on development and what is being done right, so that we can be prepared for the future Let's look at what the Ravens did right, not wrong.

The Good

  • Jimmy Clausen was good enough to merit consideration for the starting job. Before throwing two picks while trying to make an improbable comeback, Clausen was actually doing pretty good. An impressive performance of 15/23, 65% Comp., 159 Yds., 2 TDs, 0 INTs, and a 114.2 QBR belonged to him before he was forced to air it out. In my mind, he's a better option than Schaub.
  • Kamar Aiken was a beast. No doubt. He set multiple personal records with eight catches and 128 receiving yards. Plus, he had an amazing Hail Mary grab to keep the Ravens in the game at the half. Aiken has really busted out and proven that he is a legitimate receiver. He's definitely earned a place in the Ravens' offense in the future.
  • Kyle Juszczyk and Jeremy Butler also made positive impacts in the receiving game. The former got a nice touchdown and made some other smaller plays, while the latter grabbed three catches for sixty yards, including a massive 41-yard catch.
  • A regular in this section, Brandon Williams once again made some nice plays. He was penetrating the line, and gave quarterback Alex Smith and his running backs a reason to hustle.
  • Sam Koch was his regular self. Aside from a failed fake punt run, he was sharp, and the accuracy that put him on the national map this season was once again on display for all to see.
  • The "Frisbee Dogs" were awfully popular at halftime.

The Bad

  • Buck Allen lost another ball, and once again, it changed everything. This week's fumble was almost a carbon copy of his last one, a momentum-turning turnover that ultimately reversed the tides. This led to Coach Harbaugh benching Allen for the entirety of the game. Ball security is definitely a thing that the young Buck needs to work on. The future of the team simply can't do this on a routine basis.
  • The Ravens rushing attack as a whole was pretty bad actually. On 20 total carries, the Ravens got 93 yards. That's a 4.65 average. While that sounds decent on paper, the ground game just looked flat in real life. There was never really a danger of a big run. Terrance West however, did showcase some nice power moves in this tilt.
  • Secondary problems continued. The unit allowed the usually conservative Alex Smith to be incredibly efficient, going 21/25 for 171 yards and a touchdown. Notable 'lowlights' of the day included Jeremy Maclin roasting Kendrick Lewis in the slot for a touchdown, and the performance of Travis Kelce, who the Ravens couldn't contain.

The Ugly

  • John Harbaugh's play calling. I get that the team is playing for pride and that nothing is off the table. But a fake punt in your own red zone in the first quarter just seems like a terrible idea, no matter your team's record. This was bad enough by itself, but the questionable play call was punctuated by the fact that Harbaugh chose not to make any more risky plays in some much more desirable positions. If the fumble return didn't kill the Ravens' spirits, then the fake punt debacle certainly did.