Home > Uncategorized > Ravens vs. Chiefs thought

Ravens vs. Chiefs thought

The Baltimore Ravens beat the Kansas City Chiefs 38-24 in the season opener, setting an offensive record of 501 total yards. 

Now, WHAT was with the Ravens final offensive play?  Not one person I have asked has been able to answer this question:

Ravens 31, Chiefs 24, 4th and goal, inches from the goal line with 30-40 seconds left to play:  A field goal would have sealed the deal, as a 10-point deficit could not be overcome in the seconds that would remain.  Instead, we opted to hand the ball to Willis McGahee to run it in for a touchdown. 

Think of this for a minute: had McGahee not crossed the goal line, and we turned the ball over on downs, the Chiefs would have 20-30 seconds to put together a counter-attack.  Of course it is unlikely a hail-mary drive would have succeeded, but why give them the chance?  A 17-yard field goal historically has a 99+% chance of going in, whereas a goal line run has a substantially lower success rate.  

It is also curious that the consensus spread on the game was Ravens +12 1/2, which was covered by that final run– it would not have been had we kicked a field goal.  Maybe Coach Harbaugh was trying to help the hometown fans win their bets!?     

In the end, it was a good win for the Ravens and a good building block for the rest of the season.  I thought Joe Flacco tried to pull a bit too many Brett-Favre-esque squeezes that could have been intercepted, but the best way to learn is from your mistakes and I am confident that Joe Cool will keep improving on them.

McGahee vs. KC

[EDIT: I have the utmost confidence in Coach John Harbaugh’s integrity.  I am just speculating, and in my opinion this was just coincidence.]

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. booze
    September 14, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    i actually agreed with the call. we have one of the best goal line packages in the NFL, and the ball was literally inches from the end zone, so our chances of scoring a TD on that play are probably 90%+. Sure, a field goal had a better chance of success, but you’re also risking a bad long snap or a blocked kick, two things that could easily result in TDs the other way. McGahee could have fumbled on his run, but the chances of a fumble on a goal-line dive play being fielded cleanly and taken back the other way are pretty much zero. He knew the situation, it’s not like he was going to pull a Sage Rosenfels and try to leap over the pack or anything. i’ll take the increased chance of KC getting the ball on the 1 with 20 seconds left if it means not having to risk anything weird happening on a field goal attempt.

  2. Alex T
    September 14, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    His reasoning was that there was a better chance that the field goal was blocked and run back for a touchdown than getting stuffed at the goal line. So he thought it was less risky to run the ball at the one. While normally I would disagree with the decision, our special teams were terrible that day so who knows, maybe he was right. I was more concerned that we passed it 43 times and gave up 24 points to the Chiefs w/o Cassel,

    • aballeezy
      September 14, 2009 at 4:51 pm

      Thanks for the comments guys. This actually makes a whole lot more sense to me now. I think the bad snap/block argument is very valid because it is the first game of the season, young players are involved, and nerves could get into the situation. McGahee is a veteran and is not known to fumble the ball, and I think we got those 1 yarders up the middle every time we needed them yesterday. If put in the same situation against a better team, I think I would normally go the other way.

      As for the 43 passes, I was terrified. Almost 13 years of a safe, mostly crappy offense will probably do that to you. I do think it gave Flacco some good things to work on but it definitely increased our chances of losing to a bad team. And that blocked punt for a TD? I am just going to have to put that in my mind as a fluke because I can’t remember that happening to us EVER!

  3. The Captain
    September 17, 2009 at 7:54 pm

    Not so sure I agree with the comments. You play to win. A FG would have guaranteed the win, a botched snap/fumble/defense stand keeps the door open. As a fan I love the aggressive play calling, but if the play didn’t work and the Chiefs miraculously score (the Broncos did in their game), then Harbaugh gets torched in the media, fans, and the rest of the organization. Especially since our D was struggggling I wouldn’t want to let them determine the final drive.

    Ah, but McG did score and all is well in Ravenland.

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