I like the Baltimore Raven defense to dominate KC in their home opener - the Raven’s defense might score more in this contest than the Chiefs offense. Consider that HC Todd Haley has just released OC Chan Gailey, AND QB Matt Cassell has a strained MCL, and likely won’t be the opening day starter; at the very least he won’t be getting valuable timing snaps with the 1st string offense. Look for backup QB Tyler Thigpen to be starter on the road at the Ravens. Thigpen put up some impressive numbers the latter part of the season - but that was AFTER the coaching staff implemented his old college offense - don’t look for Haley to accomodate Thigpen for a short term situation. KC and Haley look to be a throw first pass oriented offense - they do have a strong performing underrated offensive line unit - but they do not have a strong long ball attack that can take advantage of the Raven’s lone vulnerability on defense. In fact, both Matt Cassel and Tyler Thigpen were near the bottom of the rankings in QB “bombs”, or YPA on long passes. The Raven front 7 will T-off on the QB, because they will not have to respect the run. On the other side of the ball the Baltimore offense is run first oriented, with a surprisingly effective pass attack. KC ranked 29th against the rush last year, giving up nearly 160 ypg and 5 ypc - ouch. They simply have not done very much in the off-season to improve their defensive personnel - and look to be vulnerable against the run again this season - against dominating rushing teams look for them to be exploited. The bottom line this is a very bad matchup for the Chiefs on both sides of the ball, and they have an unfortunate QB injury situation in this spot. Look for the Ravens to post 21-28 points, and the Chiefs to post 10-16. We like Baltimore to lay a double digit loss on the visitors, and see them winning by a dominating 13 point span. Currently the number is at just under double digits - at that price we are hitting the Raven’s as a solid A rated play in the opening contest.
We’ll update again before the NFL opener - GL, Kurt