It’s football Sunday, and we’re Baltimore are taking on the Chiefs at home, in what is already being marked up as another loss for the rapidly sinking Ravens. The Ravens (4-9) are going to have a hard time pulling anything out from under the Chiefs (8-5) who are flying on the back of a seven game streak. So let’s get straight down to the details.
3 Keys to the game
The 49ers Running Game
This game is going to be decided in the running games, and the 49ers stand in 4th overall in the NFL right now for that. With Jamaal Charles out at the beginning of the season, it looked likely that this would be a blow, but the Chiefs have bounced back, with Charcandrick West picking up where Charles left off. If the Ravens can get their OLBs in line, they might be able to hold this element off.
The Ravens Injury list
Baltimore are looking at 18 players on their injury list, including Terrell Suggs, Joe Flacco, and Justin Forsett. With a major gap in both their offense, and their defense, the Ravens would be well advised to coast the last 3 games and try out some of their younger players. The Ravens are not the same team that started this season.
The seeding for the draft is looming, and for teams like the Ravens, who are already out of the running for the playoffs, this is where they need to be looking. With losses putting them further up the draft list, it could well be in their favour to lose some games to help plug those gaps caused by this seasons injuries. Whether Baltimore are ready to give up yet is not decided, but this could be the game.
With Weeks 16 and 17 against the Steelers and the Bengals, the Ravens could well hold the keys to the division, so they may be looking at holding off until then, and ensuring that their influence is still felt in the AFC North.
Matchup to watch
Charcandrick West vs Daryl Smith & C.J. Mosely With West looking to show his worth this season, and the Chiefs looking to capitalise on the defensive gaps of the Ravens, it looks like Smith and Mosely are going to have to work hard to shut down the runs for Baltimore. With West technically a free agent after this season (though with the Chiefs retaining Exclusive Rights on him), this is another chance to show KC what he can do. Expect some explosive impacts.
It’s looking pretty much a done deal already. With the Ravens interests more invested in week 16 and 17, and their injury list filling up by the week, it’s likely that they may just go through the motions on this one. The Chiefs are going to run straight through to 8 victories on the trot, and hang on to those playoff hopes. With the Browns and the Raiders to follow, this could be a nice finish for the Chiefs.