From Arrowhead Stadium

The details:

  • Just less than 10 minutes to play in the third quarter.
  • 4th-and-1 at the Baltimore 33-yard line.
  • Chiefs trail 10-7 on the scoreboard.

The setup:

All season long fourth down has been in play for the Chiefs, sometimes in unusual situations that only head coach Todd Haley seemed to understand. In 16 games, they were 10 of 23 or 43.5 percent when going for it on fourth down. Only Jacksonville at 25 and Buffalo at 24 attempts tried for the first down more often than the Chiefs.

The Ravens defense had faced 12 fourth down plays during the season and opponents had converted on six of those.

The options:

A field goal would have been from 51 yards into the wind on the field. In pre-game warm-ups, Ryan Succop had hit from 46 yards but did not try one from further that that. If Succop missed, Baltimore would take over at the 41-yard line.

A punt would have at the worst given Baltimore field position at the 20-yard line if it was a touchback. At best, the Chiefs might have been able to down the ball inside the 10-yard line.

Going for the first down would continue the drive if successful, or turn the ball over around the 33-yard line.

The actors:

The Chiefs came out in a 2-2-1 offensive set, with Jamaal Charles and Tim Castille in the backfield, lined up in the I-formation. TEs Leonard Pope and Tony Moeaki were in for blocking and at WR was Terrance Copper.

The call:

With the backs in an information and Moeaki tight left, Pope tight right, QB Matt Cassel took the snap and pitched to Charles going to his right.

The end result:

Ravens NT Kelly Gregg blew up the play with penetration that C Casey Wiegmann could not stop. Gregg got a hand on Charles, who kept going wide right and eventually reinforcement came in the form of SS Dawan Landry and others. Charles was tackled for a four-yard loss. Gregg’s penetration destroyed the play.

The reaction:

Chiefs coach Todd Haley: “I thought we were in the game in the third quarter, in their end with a fourth down. I was a little worried about the field goal there, so we went for it. It was not a well executed, conceived play, probably what started to turn the game in the situation we end up in.”

Chiefs LG Brian Waters: “If you watch the play they did some unorthodox things on that play defensively that you wouldn’t have expected. We just didn’t get it blocked to give Jamaal a chance.”

Ravens coach Jim Harbaugh: “That was big. They had a chance to score. I’d have gone for it. I thought he did the right thing and our guys just played the play tremendously well. The play to a speed back like that is tough to defend and our guys were all over it.”

7 Responses to “PLAY OF THE GAME: 4th & 1”

  • January 10, 2011  - PAChiefsFan says:

    Another killer was the false start penalty on Branden Albert. The Chiefs had been moving the ball decently on the drive and were facing a reasonable 3rd and 3. Then the false start and now its 3rd and 8. Much harder to convert. The running game was effective but couple this crucial penalty with the fumbles and not a good recipe for victory against a team like the Ravens.

  • January 10, 2011  - leonard says:

    That was the worst call all year, and at the wrong time. Why do we have Thomas Jones if not for these situations. That turned the whole game around. What a joke. Every body watching that game groaned on that call. Bush league. You need a foot, and you pitch the back.

  • January 10, 2011  - Nate says:

    the call should have been a quick dive play over the top or a short high percentage pass play. You NEVER run a pitch play several yards deep in the backfield with 9 guys at the line of scrimmage and coming all out. As someone as already written, that was the worst call I have ever seen.

  • January 10, 2011  - Rick says:

    This has nothing to do with play calling or the game but just something I need to get off my chess!! Our new generation of Chiefs fans are the worst I have seen in 22 years of going to games. First off our season ticket holders must have not gotten playoff tickets because alot of fans in my section and close to my section were different people. Second off why do you have to use the “F” word every other word out of your mouth. IT WAS BY FAR AND AWAY THE WORST GAME TO EVER WATCH LISTENING TO THESE PATHETIC FANS. The guy who was sitting in section 343 row 7 at the end of the aisle you are a disgrace to fans do us all a favor and stay home next time and watch the game on TV.

  • January 10, 2011  - Rick says:

    chest not chess should read before i post i guess

  • January 10, 2011  - Gary says:

    I translate Harbaugh’s comments to mean: Baltimore’s defense read the formation and tendencies and knew what play to expect. Additionally, when the defense gets that much penetration and a running play, the play fails.

  • January 10, 2011  - gorillafan says:

    I have to say to hunt, make those damn seats cheaper on club level….empty seats, nice n yellow foe pple to see, why not red??? Looks pathetic for playoff game after many years of waiting n we can’t sell em. National tv. Great fan base?? N empty seat?? COM’ON MAN

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