Chiefs Have No Answer For Heap

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The Kansas City Chiefs put a safety on Ravens tight end Todd Heap. That didn't work.

They put a linebacker on him. That didn't work.

They put a cornerback on him. You get the idea.

The Chiefs had no answer for Heap throughout Sunday's wild-card matchup as the tight end set a Ravens postseason record with 10 receptions for 108 yards.

On four occasions, Heap made third-down catches to convert for a first down. He caught two other passes (not on third down) to move the chains.

"The way they were playing it with the defenses they were giving us, we were successful early in the game," Heap said. "I think we kind of figured we could keep going back to those looks and some of those plays.

Todd Heap on His Record-Setting Day
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"[Quarterback] Joe [Flacco] kept getting more confidence just putting the ball out there and obviously I felt good about the matchups out there."

The Ravens targeted Heap early and often. They threw his way five times on their opening drive and he made a reception of 12 yards across the middle on third-and-8 and another catch and run of 13 yards to put the Ravens on the 1-yard line.

Baltimore ended up settling for a field goal when safety Eric Berry batted away a pass in the end zone intended for Heap. But the veteran tight end won the matchup with the Chiefs rookie safety more times than not.

Heap also beat Kansas City free safety Jon McGraw and cornerback Brandon Carr when making three catches on the Ravens' touchdown drive just before halftime.

"It's tough to cover Todd with a safety and linebacker," Flacco said. "He was big underneath for us today. That's the way he is."

Heap made a 13-yard catch against Chiefs top cornerback Brandon Flowers in the third quarter that set up Anquan Boldin's game-breaking touchdown catch. Heap made two more snags in the fourth quarter that helped eat the clock.

Not only did the Chiefs mix-up who they had covering Heap, they also tried to take him out of the game by playing press coverage at the line of scrimmage after he started beating them.

"We'd seen it on film, a lot similar to a couple teams we played earlier this year," Heap said. "I think we really had a good game plan going in on how to attack that."

It was just Heap's second game back from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for three games. Heap's injury came on the Ravens' first play from scrimmage against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 5, which affected the Ravens' offense from then on. He'll get another shot at the Steelers on Saturday.

Heap, who had been on pace for one of his finest seasons, finished the regular season with 40 catches for 599 yards and five touchdowns.

"If there's anybody that doesn't think Todd Heap is one of the premier tight ends in the National Football League then you probably haven't been paying attention over the course of his [10-year] career," Head Coach John Harbaugh said.

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