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Baltimore Ravens Are Peaking, Dominate Kansas City Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 09:  Quarterback Joe Flacco #5 of the Baltimore Ravens looks to pass against the Kansas City Chiefs in their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 9, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Paul StaggContributor IIJanuary 11, 2011

On Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens played their best game of the season.  Even the lopsided score of 30-7 doesn't show the level of domination over the Kansas City Chiefs.

The story is better told through some statistics.  Time of possession was over 41 minutes.  The Ravens ran nearly twice as many plays as the Chiefs.  In fact, the number of Ravens running plays (40) equalled the number of total plays by the Chiefs.  The Ravens created five turnovers, while giving up the ball twice.

Matt Cassell attempted less passes (18) than Joe Flacco completed (25).

On both sides of the ball, the Ravens played an outstanding game.  Frankly, were it not for an obvious hold, the Chiefs may not have scored a touchdown.

Joe Flacco managed the game well.  The offensive line pushed KC off the ball.  The defense ended up shutting down a very effective running game and created opportunities with interceptions.

Fans have complained all year that the team looked sluggish and flat at times, in spite of the Ravens' 12-4 record.  And it's true, they haven't really blown any team out.  They have shown flashes of dominance (the first half of the Texans game comes to mind), but haven't finished teams off.

They did on Sunday, though.

This Saturday, the Ravens move on to face the Steelers for the third time this year.  Everyone knows the history of the rivalry, and everyone knows how the first two games turned out.

But this time will be different.  This time, the Ravens are playing their best ball. 

The Ravens' best ball is better than the Steelers' best.  The Ravens look like they can beat anyone.

 

Paul is a Ravens Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report

Follow Paul on twitter @Paul_Stagg

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