Seven in a row. That’s what it took to set the NFL record for consecutive playoff loses. After a surprising season by the Kansas City Chiefs, the team showed that it’s still not ready for prime time by losing yet another playoff game despite winning the AFC West and hosting the Baltimore Ravens at Arrowhead Stadium. Ravens 30, Chiefs 7.
The game was still close at the beginning of the second half. But Baltimore’s offense was on the field more often than not, and a gassed Kansas City defense finally buckled in the 4th quarter. The Chiefs committed 5 turnovers – including 3 interceptions by quarterback Matt Cassel. Cassel finished with only 70 yards on nine completions. Running back Jamaal Charles carried the ball 9 times for 82 yards and accounted for the only Chiefs’ score – beautiful 41 yard sprint, but he also put the ball on the turf, killing a potential scoring drive in the second quarter.
The Ravens attacked KC with a ‘heaping’ helping of tight end Todd Heap. Heap had free release off the line of scrimmage most of the day and caught several passes for first downs, including a perfect 13 yarder on…you guessed it, 3rd down and 13. Although the Chiefs’ defense was able to harass Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco on several occasions, they weren’t able to get off the field on third downs. And by the fourth quarter, they were paying for it.
Flacco ended the day throwing for 265 yards and 2 touchdowns. Running back Willis McGahee had a rushing touchdown and kicker Billy Cundiff tacked on another 9 points on 3 field goals.
The Ravens go on now to play the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Divisional Round. The Chiefs, of course, clean out their lockers and head home. It’s been 17 years since Kansas City could boast a playoff win – a 28-20 victory over the Houston Oilers before losing to Buffalo in the AFC Championship Game. With a brutal 1st place schedule on the horizon for the 2011 Chiefs, it’s hard to say when the team will even reach the playoffs again, let alone stop the record setting trend of playoff futility.
[Source: The Kansas City Star]