The Kansas City Chiefs concluded an otherwise encouraging regular season by failing to achieve a perfect record at home, bestowing upon the Raiders a perfect record within the division, and failing, by any and every reasonable measure, to use the last game of the season as a tune up or for positive momentum going into the playoffs.
I shall do my best to keep this short and sweet. Updated rankings and other goodies await you beyond the jump.
As always, please refer to Football Outsiders for more insight into the methods behind their madness.
In truth, there was nothing encouraging about what took place last Sunday and the Chiefs appear to be falling completely apart as the season comes to an end. More importantly, when you look at the weighted DVOA stats, you quickly realize that overall trend for this in the last half of the season is that of a team that has played progressively worse to where it finds itself among the lower half of the league in several important categories. Haley’s goal of improving this team a little more each week has been a clear failure in the latter part of the season, even with the whole team healthy. I am happy we are in the playoffs but I wish there was better story to tell when it comes to the progress and direction of the 2010 Chiefs.
Clearly a case of the haves and the have nots. Nuff said.
This is a game that does not favor the Chiefs in any meaningful way. The Ravens are, in my mind, the toughest opponent the Chiefs will face this season and it is hard to see how they can overcome the Ravens power, talent, and depth. However, as a basic strategy, I think the Chiefs should attack this game essentially the same way they did against the Titans. Rather than foolishly attempting to impose our will upon their very solid defensive interior, our best bet is to use our youthful speed and take the ball outside early and often via screens, toss plays, reverses, and the like. Establishing a fast tempo from the outset might catch the Ravens defense off guard and allow us to get up on them with a couple of quick scores.
In the final analysis though, I believe the Ravens will have to play their worst game of the year and the Chiefs play their best game of the year for the home team to eke out a win. Even though I will be there cheering on my Chiefs, I don’t imagine it will go down that way. To borrow from the late, great T.S. Eliot, the way I see this season ending is “not with a bang, but with a whimper.”
That’s my Double Take. What are your takes Addicts?