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Opponent Final 2010 Defensive Ranks
Kansas City Pass Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 17th (220 Yds/Gm) - TDs Allowed T-13th (23)
Kansas City Rush Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 14th (110.3 Yds/Gm) – TDs Allowed T-12th (11)
Baltimore Offensive Cast
Joe Flacco (QB Playoff Week 1 Ranking: No. 7)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 306/489 – for 3,622 yards, 25 TDs & 10 INTs
Flacco has a history of not doing well in the playoffs and I expect that trend to continue this Sunday for a couple of reasons. First, the Ravens will want to control the clock and will likely do so with a run-first approach due to the Chiefs lack of a strong rush defense. Second, Flacco tends to play better at home than on the road, so though the Ravens may end up winning this game, it will probably be because of Ray Rice and their defensive play, not Joe Cool.
Ray Rice (RB Playoff Week 1 Ranking: No. 1)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 307 carries for 1,220 yards & 5 TDs || 63 receptions for 556 yards & 1 TD
Rice has an extra gear when it comes to playoff-time, as evidenced by his 159 yard, two TD performance against New England and 127 total yards against Indy in last year’s post season. The Chiefs have shown they can be beaten on the ground (teams averaged 140.6 rushing yards/game against them over the last five weeks), so expect a healthy dose of Ray Ray in this one with a possible 160+ total yards and a TD as a result.
Willis McGahee (RB Playoff Week 1 Ranking: No. 13)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 100 carries for 380 yards & 5 TDs || 14 receptions for 55 yards & 1 TD
McGahee has as good a shot as any backup RB in the league to score a TD, but Rice will run the show this Sunday. Don’t expect much, as Willis has rushed for just one TD in the past nine games while averaging a mere 19.2 yards/game.
Anquan Boldin (WR Playoff Week 1 Ranking: No. 11)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 64 receptions for 837 yards & 7 TDs
Boldin’s play has been erratic this season so I have no idea what to expect here. If the Chiefs put their young stud corner back, (Brandon Flowers), on him, he might end up with some paltry numbers. However, I’m guessing Flowers will be on Mason in this one and if so, Boldin’s chances of having a good game improve significantly.
Derrick Mason (WR Playoff Week 1 Ranking: No. 13)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 61 receptions for 802 yards & 7 TDs
Mason had himself another solid season and turned back all the questions about his inclining age. However, as with Boldin, what he does in this game could greatly depend on who the Chiefs have covering him. His veteran savvy will get him some good looks regardless, but don’t expect too much here.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh (WR Playoff Week 1 Ranking: No. 23)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 30 receptions for 398 yards & 3 TDs
"Housh" is another one of the Ravens vets that could see a few tosses come his way this Sunday, but he’s barely been fantasy worthy the entire year and I can’t see that changing now.
Todd Heap (TE Playoff Week 1 Ranking: No. 5)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 40 receptions for 599 yards & 5 TDs
Heap had another strong season despite missing three games and could be depended on in this Wild Card showdown. With his 15.0 yards/catch and his red-zone ability, he might be able to do some damage against a Chiefs defense that has been strong against opposing tight ends all year.
Ed Dickson (TE Playoff Week 1 Ranking: No. 11)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 11 receptions for 152 yards & 1 TD
Dickson has a great future and will eventually take over for Heap, but it’s difficult to depend on a rookie come playoff time.
Kansas City Chiefs
Opponent Final 2010 Defensive Ranks
Baltimore Pass Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 21st (225 Yds/Gm) - TDs Allowed T-9th (22)
Baltimore Rush Defense – 2010: Yards Allowed/Game 5th (93.9 Yds/Gm) – TDs Allowed T-1st (5)
Kansas City Offensive Cast
Matt Cassel (QB Playoff Week 1 Ranking: No. 5)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 262/450 – for 3,116 yards, 27 TDs & 7 INTs
Cassel has been phenomenal this year in leading the Chiefs to a division-leading 10-6 record and their first playoff berth since 2006. The Ravens rush defence is as tough as it gets, especially in the playoffs, so if the Chiefs want to move on past the first round, Cassel will have to be the one to get them there. Expect Matt to toss the pill around quite a bit this weekend.
Jamaal Charles (RB Playoff Week 1 Ranking: No. 3)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 230 carries for 1,467 yards & 5 TDs || 45 receptions for 468 yards & 3 TDs
Jamaal has his work cut out for him this weekend, but he’s one of the more electric players in the league, along with being one of the more well-rested. The Chiefs did a great job of keeping him fresh throughout the year and now is the time where it could pay off. He’ll be stuffed for either zero or negative yardage on his fair share of carries, but Charles isn’t a grind-it-out type of back. All it takes is one open hole, one blown assignment, and the kid is gone. His ability in the passing game will certainly help his final numbers as well.
Thomas Jones (RB Playoff Week 1 Ranking: No. 10)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 245 carries for 896 yards & 6 TDs || 14 receptions for 122 yards & 0 TDs
Jones will certainly be used to get KC some tough yards this weekend, but his heart and ability to take a beating will have to take a backseat to Jamaal’s explosiveness and game changing capacities. Still, he has as good a chance as any to take in a short touchdown if the Chiefs can get inside the Ravens five-yard line.
Dwayne Bowe (WR Playoff Week 1 Ranking: No. 3)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 72 receptions for 1,162 yards & 15 TDs
Bowe has been nothing short of amazing this year putting up the second-most touchdowns in the league (first for WRs) and setting personal bests in every WR category besides receptions. If there’s one part of the Ravens defense that’s suspect, it’s their pass defence, and Bowe will be depended on by Cassel and the Chiefs to exploit it. Expect at least double-digits in targets and every opportunity to shine this Sunday.
Chris Chambers (WR Playoff Week 1 Ranking: No. 26)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 22 receptions for 213 yards & 1 TD
Five or six years ago? Absolutely. But the only way he does anything in this game is if the Ravens triple-team Bowe.
Dexter McCluster (WR Playoff Week 1 Ranking: No. 27)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 21 receptions for 209 yards & 1 TD
McCluster is an electric piece for the future, but he hasn’t been the same since coming back from his ankle injury in Week 13. He has the ability to break off a long one, but the chances of it happening are slim to none.
Terrance Copper (WR Playoff Week 1 Ranking: No. 28)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 18 receptions for 157 yards & 0 TDs
If the Chiefs get down early, Copper could get in there and see a few balls fly his way. Other than that, he’s useless.
Tony Moeaki (TE Playoff Week 1 Ranking: No. 8)
Final 2010 Season Stats: 47 receptions for 556 yards & 3 TDs
The Ravens are the best team in the playoffs at defending tight ends, so don’t expect too much here, especially with Tony being a rookie.