(Submit Articles) Sometimes, they say, that winning is all about having the right answers at the right time. And truth be said, thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s got to be some reality behind this because at the end, when it comes to the NFL playoffs, it really doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t matter what you did in the regular season to get there. What really matters is whether you can survive on the single elimination challenge that leads to the Super Bowl.
Joe Flacco guided the Ravens and completed 25 of 34 attempts for 265 yards and 2 touchdowns, outplaying Matt Cassel who went for 9 of 18 for only 70 yards and 3 interceptions for a very low 20.4 passers rating. It wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t all CasselÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fault as it was evident that the Chiefs were just simply not having their best Sunday ever. But it really doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t matter as there was very little the Chiefs could do to avoid a 30-7 defeat by the Ravens on the opening round of the NFL Playoffs.
The Kansas City Chiefs arrived to the Wild Card Round after a 10-6 regular season. They managed to win the AFC West division with a significant 6-game improvement over the previous season. Still, Joe Flaco and the Baltimore Ravens kept the young Kansas City Chiefs at just 25 yards during the second half of the game. Where it all went down: defense.
The Baltimore Ravens defense was simply outstanding. Guided by the powerful Ray Lewis, the Ravens sacked Matt Cassel three times and forced the offense into five turnovers in their outstanding 30-7 victory at the Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.
It was a pretty close game between the two squads up to the start of the second half. From there on, the Ravens managed to simply hold the Chiefs offense on their feet. Two unanswered field goals by Billy Cundiff from 29-yards for the Ravens followed by 4 yard pass from Joe Flacco to Anquan Boldin gave the Ravens a 23-7 difference that opened up the gap clear open in the third quarter.
The Chiefs have now fallen to a 3-12 record. As of press time that is the second worst record in the postseason since the NFL Merger in 1970. Only the Detroit Lions hold a worst playoffs record, at 1-9. Kansas City finishes the season saddled with an NFL-record seventh straight playoff loss, dating back 17 years.
The Ravens were a -3 point favorite on the spread against the Kansas City Chiefs for this game. The Ravens managed to finish the regular season with a 12-4 record after winning 5 of its last 7 games to hold onto a Wild Card spot as the No. 2 team in the AFC North just behind the Pittsburgh Steelers who clinched division with a 12-4 record for the season. Now it is time to get back at the Steelers during the Divisional Round. The Ravens took a great win on the road on October 3rd against the Steelers in a 17-14 win. Now, you should consider that the Ravens were playing the Steelers sans starting quarterback Ben Roehtlisberger. Once Big Ben got back on the field he turned things around and guided the Steelers to a 13-10 win on December 5, 2010.
As of press time the Ravens are 9-7-1 Against the Spread for the season and a -3 point underdog in the betting odds for the Divisional Round game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Stephen Lars is a prominent sports blogger and currently covers NFL Professional Football, previews and handicaps for the BetIAS' Sports Betting Blog . You may reprint this article in its full content, please note no modifications to it are accepted.
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