August 30, 2012
The former Notre Dame standout could be called to step under center if Matt Cassel continues to falter. It's been an embarrassing display by Cassel so far. Cassel leads the NFL with 10 turnovers, including seven interceptions and three lost fumbles. He has already been sacked 13 times. Cassel could be in major trouble against Ravens free safety Ed Reed, who has a penchant for baiting weak quarterbacks into miscues. Cassel struggled in a 30-7 AFC wild-card loss to Baltimore two seasons ago. He completed only 9 of 18 passes for 70 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions, getting picked off once apiece by safeties Dawan Landry and Haruki Nakamura and once by cornerback Josh Wilson. All of those players are gone from the roster, but the Ravens have four interceptions with Reed leading the defense with two picks and seven pass deflections. The Ravens have held opposing quarterbacks to a 78.4 passer rating this season, allowing just two touchdown passes and an average of 7.7 yards per passing attempt. The Chiefs do have a dangerous downfield threat in wide receiver Dwayne Bowe, an imposing target at 6-foot-2, 221 pounds who leads his team with 25 receptions for 342 yards and three touchdowns. Shutdown cornerback Lardarius Webb will draw this tough assignment. The Ravens rank 29th in pass defense. If the Chiefs are able to go after cornerbacks Cary Williams and Jimmy Smith, they obviously will.