NFL Playoffs: Baltimore Ravens 30, Kansas City Chiefs 7

“Entertainment? On the first weekend of the playoffs?! I won’t stand for this!” said an anonymous and inexplicably angry NFL executive before poisoning Kansas City Chiefs QB Matt Cassel early Sunday morning.

It was inevitable that week one of the NFL playoffs would not conclude without one stinker among the batch of four games. Matt Cassel followed up his career-best regular season performance with 70 passing yards and three interceptions. This game would have put Lawrence Taylor to sleep. Luckily, the Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles combined efforts to resuscitate fans across the country. The Packers held on to beat the Eagles after Michael Vick threw an interception on Philadelphia’s final possession of the game.

NFL Playoffs: Baltimore Ravens 30, Kansas City Chiefs 7

My original post was slated to include bullet points about the overrated Baltimore Ravens defense and the unstoppable Kansas City Chiefs offensive trio. The Ravens wrote a post of their own dedicated to me on Sunday, with one bullet point: “You’re an idiot.”

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Baltimore lived up to their 12-4 record by not only beating the Chiefs, but bullying them on the football field. The Ravens defense which I so brashly concluded to be overrated, allowed a scant 160 yards of total offense to the explosive Chiefs attack. The ghost of Todd Heap past caught 10 passes for 108 yards for the Ravens, and quarterback Joe Flacco was excellent.

Ed Reed played exceptionally for the Ravens, though it’s hard to fathom why he played at all. Reed’s brother Brian turned up missing one day earlier after jumping into the Mississippi River while being pursued by police. Reed’s family gave their full vote of confidence to go ahead and play on Sunday. Professional athletes seem to accrue a warped sense of priorities over the years playing under the spotlight. I certainly don’t know the full extent of Reed’s situation, but I can’t remember the last time an athlete elected not to play a big game following a personal tragedy.

On a less serious note, let’s make fun of the Chiefs. The Chiefs improbable run has finally arrived at the most probable finish; a horribly soul-crushing loss.

Matt Cassel put together one of the best seasons of any quarterback in the NFL this season and was finally starting to earn recognition as a high-quality football player. In one fell swoop, Cassel earned the disrespect of sports publications and bloggers across the country. He failed to connect with star wide receiver Dwayne Bowe once in this game, yet found Ravens defenders three times.

Sure, it was a terrible performance. I am confused however, because this single performance is being used as a litmus test for Cassel’s legitimacy as an NFL signal caller. Don’t burn Kansas City to the ground, Chiefs fans. That’s not helping anyone. Burn Baltimore to the ground! Nope, don’t do that either. Take some deep breaths. The Chiefs have a nice young team and they ought to be back to the postseason next year.

Story by Jesse Jacobs of The Ballston Journal

Jesse Jacobs’ NFL Playoff Round-up:
Seattle Seahawks 41, New Orleans Saints 36
New York Jets 17, Indianapolis Colts 16

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