Kansas City Chiefs fans weren’t expecting much when the 2009 season kicked off, but they were hoping for improvement. How did their week one game against the Baltimore Ravens play out in 2009?
The NFL was kind enough to let anyone watch games from the last ten years for free while we’re all flattening the curve. While most Kansas City Chiefs fans immediately rewatched Super Bowl LIV or the 2019 season in general, I decided to start from the longest we were able to go back on the feature, which was the 2009 season and watch every game from that season.
Furthermore, I decided to share my thoughts on every game with you all because hey – What else am I going to do while in quarantine? Let’s get to game one!
WEEK 1 VS BALTIMORE RAVENS – SEPTEMBER 13TH, 2009
Before the Chiefs were Super Bowl champions, they had gone 50 years without a Super Bowl appearance and also provided their fans with a lot of heartbreak.
The 2009 season wasn’t necessarily a season filled with heartbreak, but it was another rough season for the franchise. They were coming off a 2-14 record the season prior (their worst season at that point) and as a result, hired Todd Haley to be their new head coach and traded for Matt Cassel to take things over at the quarterback position.
The Baltimore Ravens – KC’s week one opponent – were an entirely different story. They had a rookie quarterback lead them to the AFC Championship Game the season prior only to lose to the Steelers. The expectations were high for the Ravens in 2009 and people figured this would be a blowout by the birds.
To make matters worse for Kansas City, Cassel was unable to suit up against the Ravens due to injury, so the Chiefs were forced to roll with the one and only Brodie Croyle, who somehow stayed with this team for half a decade.
As bad as Croyle was throughout the course of his pro career, he and the Chiefs made this a game. It was tied 24-24 with 5:21 remaining in the game, which seemed unfathomable in the first half.
By the time the Chiefs offense finally managed to get a first down, there was only 2:15 left in the first half and the Ravens had recorded 12 first downs by that point. Baltimore doubled KC’s time of possession at that point in time as well, yet it was only 10-7 Ravens at the half.
The seven points for KC was courtesy of Jon McGraw blocking a Baltimore punt and the Chiefs recovering it in the end zone for six points. Without that special teams play, the Chiefs are scoreless heading into the locker room at the half.
Throughout the game, it was clear that the Ravens offense had one thing in mind when it came to passing the ball and that was to take advantage of Maurice Leggett, who was starting in place of an injured Brandon Flowers. Leggett broke up some passes, but for the most part, he was getting picked on all afternoon long.
Joe Flacco – who was in his second year as an NFL starting quarterback – had all day to throw on almost every play and that was definitely the case early on, as he and his Ravens marched down the field on the first two drives and put up ten points as a result. The broadcasters kept making note of the Chiefs’ lack of sacks from the season prior (just ten on the year) and that showed with their lack of pressure on Flacco.
The defense eventually settled in and did their part in containing Baltimore’s offense. Kansas City’s offense, however, was putrid in the first half, but Derrick Johnson helped them out in the third quarter by picking off Flacco and returning the pigskin 70 yards down the field and giving the Chiefs the ball deep in Ravens territory. Johnson had been demoted in the offseason in case you forgot about that.
Croyle connected with Dwayne Bowe on a two-yard touchdown pass to give the Chiefs their first offensive touchdown of the season. The Ravens would take the lead not long after, but after rookie Ryan Succop knocked a 53-yarder through the uprights, it was tied at 17 early in the fourth quarter.
Yes, it was a 17-17 game in the fourth quarter, but ended up being a 38-24 Ravens win, so what the heck happened, you may ask?
Well, after having to prop up their offense all day, the Kansas City defense ran out of gas and allowed Baltimore to score three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Brodie Croyle didn’t play as badly as he did in most of his other starts, but he threw for just 177 yards and was sacked three times.
The Ravens ran for 198 yards and two touchdowns while Flacco threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns with his only big miscue being the interception by Johnson. The Ravens should have run away with this game early, but the Chiefs defense was better than many anticipated and kept them in this one.
Even though it ended up being a two touchdown loss, the Chiefs surprised a lot of people in this match-up considering they were without their starting quarterback and were playing on the road against a team that had gone to the AFC Championship Game the season prior.
Make no mistake though – The Chiefs offense wasn’t good and were it not for DJ’s interception and the refs not noticing the ball came out, they might not have found the end zone.
REMEMBER THAT GUY?
- Mark Bradley had two instances where he was just shy of the first down marker.
- Sean Ryan had a touchdown in the fourth quarter that shouldn’t have been ruled a touchdown because the ball definitely popped out.
- Tyler Thigpen played a series!
- Todd Heap had 74 yards for the Ravens.
- Jarret Johnson had two of the three sacks on Croyle
- Willis McGahee scored a touchdown in the final minute of the game even though Baltimore didn’t need the points.
- Michael Oher was playing in his first ever NFL game! You know, the Blindside guy.
This was the first game of the 2009 season and the Kansas City Chiefs gave it their all, but dropped their fourth straight season opener. They played much better than people expected and made fans feel a little bit better about how the season could look under Todd Haley.
Next up: Week 2 vs Oakland Raiders (0-1)