Leading up to the draft, I’m going to break the schedule down game by game and take a deeper look at all of the Chiefs’ 2009 match-ups. I’ll revisit this closer to the season, but I want to take an early look at things as well. Let’s get started…
Week 1 – At Baltimore Ravens
At first glance, I was taken aback by the sheer terror of this match-up. Ray-Ray and his crew gets first crack at our new franchise quarterback? Yikes! Then I remembered that Ray Lewis and Ed Reed used to babysit Tony Gonzalez (practically). I also remembered that the Ravens’ offense is no juggernaut and that their corners are pretty suspect.
Sure, Terrell Suggs and Co. will come after Matt Cassel, but that’s not what concerns me most. What concerns me most is our defense being able to apply heat to sophomore signal caller Joe Flacco. If we can accomplish that, then I think we can rattle him, deter that offense and keep pace. If not, it might be a long Sunday for our Chiefs. Then again, how many points can that limited O possibly generate?
My other big worry is that the Chiefs will pick things up where they left off and start out the season susceptible to the run. That would be no bueno, but it’s certainly a possibility — especially while the new unit is gelling. I could see LeRon McLain, Ray Rice and Willis McGahee absolutely carving us up. After all, that’s a pretty talented and versatile trifecta. Personally, I would load the box and make Flacco and his receivers — Derrick Mason, Mark Clayton and Todd Heap — beat us. Mason and Heap are over the hill, Clayton is inconsistent and Flacco is overrated. I don’t think they could win an aerial shootout with our Red and Gold. Especially if A.) Tony Gonzalez sticks around; and/or B.) we draft Michael Crabtree.
In my vlog, I called this a loss. So, yes, on the road this game will be quite tough. It’s a winnable game. Much more winnable than say Philly two weeks later, in my opinion. That’s the toughest game on the sked if you ask me. The Chiefs can win this one, but they will have to limit their offensive mistakes and the Ravens’ rushing attack to do so.
FS Ed Reed vs. TE Tony Gonzalez
I suspect that the Ravens will try to cover Gonzalez with Reed some. If so, this could be a pivotal match-up as it pits the league’s best tight end against its best free safety.
OLB Terrell Suggs vs. OT Branden Albert
Their paths will likely cross. When they do, Albert will need to be at his best if he wants to keep his new quarterback upright. Suggs is one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL.
Chiefs’ Front Seven vs. Ravens’ Running Back Trio
The Chiefs new hybrid defense will have to shut down the B-More ground game in order for the Chiefs to have any shot of leaving crabcake country with a W.
The Chiefs have never lost to the Ravens in Baltimore — ever!
Addicts, sound off on the season opener at Baltimore…