Ravens Roost

September 14, 2009 12:13 AM

Ravens outlast Kansas City for opening day win

This was a bit of a strange game for a number of reasons. In the first quarter it looked like the Ravens were going to steamroll the Chiefs as the Ravens offense seemed to march down the field at will, and defensively the Ravens shut down everything the Chiefs threw at them.

At the end of the first quarter the Ravens had 167 yards of offense compared to only five for Kansas City. Statistically the Ravens would continue to dominate into the third quarter, at one point enjoying a 360 to 67 edge offensively. The funny thing was the Chiefs held the lead 14-10.

Give Kansas City credit, they took advantage of every opportunity the Ravens gave them. After a blocked punt that resulted in a touchdown, and a 70 yard interception return they found some momentum, and a sense of confidence. They came to play, and did just that. 

However, in the end Joe Flacco and the Raven offense proved to be too much for the Chiefs to defend. With the score tied at 24 in the fourth quarter Cam Cameron mixed off tackle running plays with high percentage pass plays culminating with a 31 yard touchdown strike from Flacco to Mark Clayton. The Ravens would go on to score yet one more touchdown to set a personal yardage record for Flacco (307 yds.) and a team high 501 yards of total offense.  It was an impressive showing and hopefully a sign of things to come.

There was also the return of the Todd Heap of several years ago. With no longer having to stay in and block on the line Heap has once again become an intricate part of the offense. His 5 receptions for 74 yards, including a touchdown and two third down conversions was good to see.  

Of the few negatives on the day one would have to be the high number of stupid penalties. Once again the team held that advantage over their opponent with 6 penalties to only two for Kansas City.  Another area of concern is Special Teams. A blocked punt, several bad snaps, and lack of any real return game shows that this is the segment of the team that needs the most work. Ravens special teams coach Jerry Rosburg must have a deep friendship with head coach John Harbaugh because he sure hasn't impressed me with what he's done with the unit going into his second season, and I doubt Harbaugh is impressed either.

Overall this was a good total team effort, and starting off with  a victory is always sweet. But this one's in the books, and now the team has to focus on the San Diego Chargers. That game will be a true gauge of how good this years Baltimore Ravens are this early in the season.


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