Game Balls: Chiefs vs. Ravens

After every game we hand out game balls to the best Chiefs players on offense, defense and special teams.

The Kansas City Chiefs dropped their first game of the season 38-24 to the Ravens in Baltimore.  As we’ve gotten accustomed to doing, here are the best of the worst.

Offense: Dwayne Bowe

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Speaking of best of the worst…  Some would say Brodie Croyle should be here, but his inability to find Bowe once in the first half and his almost total lack of awareness in the pocket made it impossible for me to select Croyle.

Bowe’s stat line won’t blow you away: 4 catches for 40 yards and a touchdown.  That touchdown gave the Chiefs their first and only lead of the game.  The thing is, even with Baltimore focusing their energy on Bowe he was “available” (for the lack of a better term) most of the game but Croyle didn’t try to get him the ball.  When you have a receiver with a three inch height advantage on the defense’s two best corners, you need to get him the ball and that didn’t happen against the Ravens.

Bottom line: when he was thrown the ball, Bowe got the job done.

Defense: Derrick Johnson

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Looking at the box score again won’t tell the story.  Demorrio Williams — currently residing ahead of Johnson on the depth chart — registered 10 tackles, including one for a loss, but was constantly caught out of position.

Johnson provided the Chiefs second best play of the game with his 70 yard interception return that setup Bowe’s go ahead touchdown catch.  The defense as a whole was anything but impressive, so I don’t think Johnson will take much solace in any sort of accolades he receives from a game in which the opposing offense racked over 500 yards.

Special Team: Jon McGraw

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The only reason Johnson’s interception was the second best play of the game was because of McGraw.

With the Chiefs trailing 10-0 in the second quarter, the Ravens punting in the shadow of their own goal posts and Kansas City yet to record a first down on offense, McGraw came barreling through to block the kick.  Better yet, after no one on the Chiefs could manage to corral the ball, McGraw covered up the jumping bean for Kansas City’s first points of the 2009 season.  It proved to be the only points the Chiefs would score in the first half.

For a unit that was very disappointing in the preseason, McGraw’s outstanding play should give them something to build on going into the home opener next weekend.

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