Monday, January 10, 2011

The Kansas City Chefs Served Up A Tidy Pigeon For Ravenous Baltymore

Forgive the tortured headline atop the photo.

This past Sunday, K.C. played the role of The Sunshine Band, patsy, pigeon, chef, bee-yotch, whatever, to a ferocious Balt'more Ravens squad. To say the Ravens demolished the Chiefs is an understatement, and that might be an understatement.

Read elsewhere for the gory details, but Baltimore brutalized K.C. in every facet of the game, from time of possession (the Griefs had the ball for less than 20 minutes), to turnovers (Baltimore's defense picked off three passes and forced two fumble recoveries), all the way through. Even the kicker, Billy Cundiff, was impressive, nailing two field goals and burying kickoffs five yards deep into the end zone.

For all we know, the Ravens also trashed the post-game tailgate gatherings in the Arrowhead Stadium parking lots.

Ed Reed played like a man possessed, and he might have been, considering the disappearance of his brother into the Mississippi River a few days ago.

Joe Flacco was flawless, Haloti Ngata was a caveman, and Ray Lewis looked like he's still bristling over the murder charges filed against him years ago.

Also problematic -- extremely so -- were running back
Ray Rice, tight end Todd Heap, and receivers Anquan Bolden, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Derrick Mason.

All right, enough of that. For the Ravens, it's going to be a trying week, with more than a few distractions. Also, they were almost too dominant in Kansas City.

This Saturday, in Pittsburgh, it will be a different story.

The Steelers are not the Chiefs.

First, let's take a superficial look, and then we'll dig a little deeper.
As we all know, the Steelers and Ravens split the two games they played during the regular season.
  • In Week Four, Sunday, Oct. 3 at Heinz Field, the Steelers -- playing without Ben Roethlisberger -- lost a nail-biter to the Ravens on a last minute TD pass to T.J. Douchemandzadeh.
  • In Week 13, Sunday night, Dec. 5 in Baltimore, the Steelers pulled out a 13-10 nail-biter following Troy Polamalu's spectacular!, sensational!, pivotal!, game-turning!, season-saving! hit of Joe Flacco that forced the game's decisive fumble, which led to Isaac Redman's late game-winning touchdown catch-and-bull-run.
Okay, so the two teams played each other pretty evenly during the regular season, and, indeed, over the past couple of years. Pretty evenly?!

Let's take a closer look at the past two seasons (2009 and 2010). Consider, over the past four games between the Ravens and Steelers ...
  • Each team has two wins and two losses.
  • Each team has scored 67 points.
  • Each team has scored seven touchdowns and six field goals.
Well, it doesn't get much more even that that.

However, and this is a BIG caveat:
  • Both of the Steelers' two losses to the Ravens (in 2009 and 2010) were without Big Ben -- who, by the way, has beaten the Ravens six in a row.
The Steelers will win this game, too.

that in your caw and smoke it, Baltimorons.