Welcome Back Playoffs … Game-Day Cup O’Chiefs

OK, Kansas City, the great Midwest and the Chiefs Nation – it’s been awhile I know, so this may be a good time to go over what happens when your team makes the tournament:

– Win and the season continues for at least another week, as they would go to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers.

– Lose, and there is no tomorrow; season is over.

Cut through all the plots and story lines of the post-season and really comes down to an either/or, a very simple set of ramifications for the Chiefs as a result of their game against the Baltimore Ravens. Kickoff is Sunday at noon and can we watched on CBS-TV with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms providing the necessary words.
“It’s really the easiest game of the year to figure out – win and we play again, lose and we go home,” said 11-year veteran G Brian Waters, who is playing in only his third post-season game. “I’m not ready to go home. I want to keep playing.”

The chronology of the playoffs for the Chiefs and Ravens is part of the panorama of this game. The Chiefs last made the playoffs in 2006. The last time they had a home game in the post-season was 2003. And the most painful fact for those among the red and gold faithful is that the Chiefs have not won a game in the playoffs since January 16, 1994.

The math on that is wild – it’s a week short of 17 years, or a full 883 weeks and slicing the pie to its smallest piece, 6,181 days since the Chiefs drank from the cup of post-season victory against the Oilers down in Houston.

Success in the playoffs is a more recent experience for the Ravens, who finished 12-4 on the season and could not win their division, as the AFC North title belongs to Pittsburgh. The Ravens are 3-2 in post-season games over the last two seasons, with all of those games played on the road. It was 10 Januarys ago that the Ravens got on a run and grabbed an NFL championship with a thumping of the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.

Only one player remains from that championship game – MLB Ray Lewis. But 41 other players on the 53-man roster that John Harbaugh carries into the game have also experienced the emotional level of the post-season. It’s one of the biggest factors working against the Chiefs in this game, since they have only 22 who have seen the playoffs.

“It’s going to be a great challenge for us, against a team like Baltimore that has a lot more experience than we do,” said Chiefs head coach Todd Haley. “In the last three seasons they’ve played five road playoff games. They’ve won some of those, more than they lost. There are distinct advantages that way, but like I said, it’s not going to matter. What’s going to matter on Sunday is who executes, does things you have to do to win.”

The Chiefs will have to execute their game plans in the manner that they did against Tennessee, St. Louis and Seattle in the last six weeks of the season. That may not be enough to win, because the Ravens are a much better team than the Titans, Rams and Seahawks. They certainly have no chance if they perform as they did against Oakland, San Diego and Denver in their last three losses of the season.

A victory formula for the Chiefs on any given Sunday is what they’ll need against the Ravens in this post-season meeting:

  1. The offense must be balanced between run and pass.
  2. Mistakes must be few and far between. No turnovers, no hurtful penalties, no slips of the brain. When something does go wrong, the mistake can’t be compounded, i.e., turn the ball over, but don’t give up points on the possession.
  3. When opportunity is presented, it must be accepted. Takeaways must become points.
  4. Ravens QB Joe Flacco must be made uncomfortable. That can happen through different methods, but it must happen.
  5. Coaches must be aggressive without being silly.

There’s really not any different than what the Ravens must get done to win. Flacco definitely understands the mentality the visitors must have to win the game.

“You’re not going to beat the Steelers, Patriots, Chiefs, Jets and Colts by laying back and managing football games and hope to eke it out in the end,” Flacco said. “We’re going to have to attack these guys. We feel like if we do that, we’re going to win.”

There’s no question that the stakes in this game are high, and the Chiefs have reacted as such during the week of preparation. There was a lot of extra work viewing game tape, spending precious time researching the Ravens and their tendencies.

On Sunday, they must go out and play football without the ramifications clutching in their throat.

“I’m not going to put a bar or a lid on any of these guys,” said Haley. “You don’t know when each individual light is going to go on and just where they continue to make progress to becoming really good and great players. We stressed that throughout the year and this week, it doesn’t matter who you are, there is room for improvement. You don’t know what the ceiling is on any of them.

“As long they are all striving as a team that works just exactly like that, you don’t know when we’re going to become a great team. I know we’re not right now, but there is no saying that it’s not going to happen this year.”

The road to great begins with the visiting Ravens. The playoffs are back in Kansas City – about time.


  • BROWNS – signed reserve/futures contracts with QB Jarrett Brown, DL Scott Paxson and CB Ramzee Robinson.
  • COLTS – placed CB Kelvin Hayden on the injured-reserve list; signed OT Joe Reitz off their practice squad.
  • DOLPHINS – signed reserve/futures contract with WR Brooks Foster.
  • 49ERS – expected to name Vic Fangio as defensive coordinator for new head coach Jim Harbaugh.
  • GIANTS – C Shaun O’Hara pulled out of the Pro Bowl because of ankle and foot injuries that will require surgery on his Achilles tendon. Carolina C Ryan Kalil is expected to replace him on the NFC roster.
  • PATRIOTS – released DT Atiyyah Ellison.
  • SENIOR BOWL – named the coaching staffs of the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals to coach this year’s all-star game on January 29 in Mobile, Alabama.

6 Responses to “Welcome Back Playoffs … Game-Day Cup O’Chiefs”

  • January 9, 2011  - Rick says:

    Man, I just hope our o-line plays well today and that we can get some pressure on Flacco.

    Go Chiefs!

  • January 9, 2011  - aPauled says:

    2 upsets down, looking for #3 with a Chiefs win. I would add:

    6. Special Teams must make some positive plays. Score(s), short fied(s) for the Offense, and No short field(s) for the Ravens.

  • January 9, 2011  - RW says:

    The fans have to bring their AAA game with the noise today. It could be the edge needed. That, and some in ‘yo face running by Jones and Charles. That happens and I like the Chiefs chances.

  • January 9, 2011  - johnfromfairfax says:

    The return to the playoffs of the once and future Chiefs. It’s a great day to be a Chiefs Fan. Go Chiefs!

  • January 9, 2011  - matt says:

    matchup to watch: Chiefs defensive tackle Shaun Smith versus the urge to grab the jewels of Ravens players

  • January 9, 2011  - KC_Guy says:

    Hmm .. no gameday coverage today?

Get the Flash Player to see the slideshow.


Other News