From Arrowhead Stadium
- 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.”