Monday, September 14, 2009
The Ravens opened up the 2009 season with an impressive showing by the offense. They racked up a total of 501 yards, a franchise record, en route to their 38-24 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
It was much closer than the score would indicate, as two key turnovers lead to Chief touchdowns, the first coming on a blocked Sam Koch punt deep in Ravens territory and the second being set up by a Joe Flacco interception by Derrick Johnson who returned it 70 yards.
The Ravens trailed early in the 3rd quarter, 17-14, and at one point the game was tied at 24. But the Ravens closed it out with 3 scores in the 4th quarter to put the game away, and while the end result was a win with a seemingly strong 14 point margin, the game was a lot closer than most Ravens fans would have liked.
Thankfully, Flacco's interception was his only mistake of the day. He had a career game, going 26-43 for 307 passing yards, with 3 TD's and 1 INT. He spread the ball around the field nicely, resulting in Mark Clayton and Todd Heap each having more than 70 yards receiving and a TD. Ray Rice lead the rushing attack with 108 yards, and added another 12 receiving for 120 total yards of offense. Willis McGahee also had a great game, rushing 10 times for 44 yards and a score and hauling in 4 passes for 31 yards including a TD.
The defense played well, allowing only 188 total yards of offense and can only be held responsible for one of the Cheifs 3 touchdowns on the day. The one TD the Chiefs did score was impressive though. Starting at their own 20 yard line, the Chiefs marched down the field almost at will, driving 80 yards in 6 plays and picking on cornerback Fabian Washington for most of the drive. But the Ravens sacked Chiefs QB Brodie Croyle 3 times during the game, 2 of which came from Jared Johnson, and took RB Larry Johnson completely out of the game, 11 carries, 20 yards rushing.
Disappointingly, the Ravens committed 8 penalties for a whopping 65 yards, something that is somewhat out of character for a John Harbaugh coached Ravens team.
Looking forward to San Diego, the Ravens will have to protect the ball better and play a more disciplined game to beat the Chargers. That said, the Ravens did pretty much everything else about as well as they could have.
It just goes to show you how turnovers can change even the most lopsided of games.
P.S. I hope Ben, Katie, Jay and Jaime all enjoy San Diego and may the Ravens treat you to a win. Enjoy the cruise.