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2011 NFL Playoff Schedule: Baltimore Ravens Vs. Kansas City Chiefs Game Preview

The Baltimore Ravens will play the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs for the first time ever. They've met five times in the regular season with the Chiefs winning the first three between 1999 and 2004 and the Ravens winning the last two. The Ravens are the third-best team in my Unbiased Power Rankings with a 475.8 rating. The Chiefs, on the other hand, are only 12th with a 362.5 rating. The Chiefs are one of only two playoff teams (Seahawks) to be ranked lower in my rankings than non-playoff teams. Not a good sign.

The last meeting between these two teams was the 2009 opener when the Ravens blew open a close game with a 21-point fourth quarter. Of course, the Chiefs had to start Brodie Croyle in that game due to Matt Cassel's sprained knee suffered in the preseason so that game has little bearing on this meeting.

What will be the result this time around? Let's dive in.

Ravens Analysis

Only the New England Patriots and Atlanta Falcons have been more impressive - according to the Unbiased Rankings - this season than the Ravens. They've beaten four teams with winning records, tied for third-best among playoff teams and are on a four-game winning streak. They have only one bad loss, in Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and posted a 5-3 road record this season.

Chiefs Analysis

The Chiefs have beaten one team with a winning record this season and that was a seven-point win in Week 1 against the San Diego Chargers. They've spent most of the season beating up on average teams and lost the only other games they played against winning opponents (Indianapolis Colts in Week 5 and Chargers in Week 14). They are 7-1 at home and would have been undefeated but a 31-10 loss to the Oakland Raiders in Week 17 changed that.

The Pick

I like both road teams in the AFC and think the Ravens have enough offense to leave Arrowhead with a win.

Ravens 26, Chiefs 20

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.