Scouting report

October 21, 1999|By Mike Preston

Ravens run offense vs. Chiefs run defense CHIEFS

The Ravens have the No. 11 rushing attack in the league and the AFC's sixth-best running back in Errict Rhett. But the Chiefs are ranked No. 6 in rushing defense allowing only 77.8 yards per game. Ravens center Jeff Mitchell should be able to handle middle linebacker Marvcus Patton but guards Jeff Blackshear and Everett Lindsay will have a tough time with defensive tackles Chester McGlockton and Tom Barndt. Injuries to tackles Harry Swayne and Spencer Folau will slow the Ravens' offensive line.

Ravens pass offense vs. Chiefs pass defense CHIEFS

The Ravens haven't had much of a passing attack this season and they probably won't get it going tonight against the Chiefs. Kansas City will put eight players in the box and blitz often to confuse quarterback Stoney Case. Chiefs cornerbacks Cris Dishman and James Hasty like to gamble a lot, but the Ravens receivers of Qadry Ismail, Justin Armour and Patrick Johnson don't have the skill and speed to make them pay.

Chiefs run offense vs. Ravens run defense EVEN

The Chiefs are relentless in trying to establish the run and are ranked No. 2 in the league. Kansas City has steady running backs in Rashaan Shehee and Bam Morris, but the key to its ground attack are guards Dave Szott, Will Shields and center Tim Grunhard. The trio are as good as any in the league. That means defensive tackles Larry Webster, Tony Siragusa and middle linebacker Ray Lewis have to have good games.

Chiefs pass offense vs. Ravens pass defense CHIEFS

Kansas City has capable veteran receivers in Andre Rison and Derrick Alexander, who should be able to handle Ravens cornerbacks DeRon Jenkins and Chris McAlister. The deep threat is Joe Horn, who has good speed. The key for the Ravens is to get to quarterback Elvis Grbac, who can light up a secondary if he finds his rhythm early. Rison has a reduced role this season, but could still put up big numbers.

Special teams EVEN

Place-kickers Matt Stover of the Ravens and the Chiefs Pete Stoyanovich are both adequate field-goal kickers, but both are struggling on kickoffs. Kyle Richardson is having a better year punting than Daniel Pope, but the height on some of Pope's kicks have caused problems for returners. Coverage and return units for both teams have been solid.

Intangibles RAVENS

A win keeps the Chiefs in contention in the AFC race and they are catching the Ravens' offensive line at the right time due to injuries. But the Ravens would like nothing better than to beat a physical team like the Chiefs at home in front of a national television audience.

Prediction CHIEFS

This will be the night Alexander gets his revenge on his former team for himself and ex-teammate Michael Jackson. Watch for Alexander's stop-and-go move: . Chiefs 13, Ravens 6 in a real yawner.

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