Ravens vs. Chiefs: 5 questions with KC Kingdom
Question 3: How good can the Chiefs defense be? Who stands out as the leader in the front seven, who leads the secondary?
Cullen Jekel: This defense can be ranked somewhere in the low 20’s. The secondary continues to struggle and the linebackers are also lacking. Defensive tackle Chris Jones is the leader of the front seven. He knocked Nick Foles out of the game in Week One and followed that up with a sack and three quarterback hits on Derek Carr. He’s making a hell of a case for a decent payday, regardless of whether that comes in Kansas City.
As for the secondary, the Chiefs signed Tyrann Mathieu to not only solidify the secondary on the field but to be an overall defensive leader. So far, he’s only racked up five combined tackles. Yet, after the first quarter last week, this defense really stepped it up, shutting down the Raiders offense for the rest of the game while allowing zero points.
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Question 4: How much will Tyreek Hill‘s absence impact this game?
Cullen Jekel: While I’m sure Andy Reid, offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Mahomes and, of course, Hill would want Hill to be out there, his absence won’t change the gameplan all that much. During the offseason, when Hill was possibly facing a suspension that never came, the Chiefs moved up in the second round to draft wide receiver Mecole Hardman out of Georgia, a guy with a similar skill set compared to Hill. And while Hardman didn’t do much in Week One, he caught four passes for 61 yards and a touchdown against the Raiders while returning one punt for 20 yards.
Plus, wide receiver Demarcus Robinson had a career day with six catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns. The Legion of Zoom–a cheesy nickname for the wide receiving corp that I absolutely love–might be less without Hill, but it’s still incredibly dangerous. And that doesn’t even include Travis Kelce!
Question 5: Give me a prediction for this one. Who wins and why?
Cullen Jekel: Oh, man, this game worries me as a Chiefs fan. The Ravens are dangerous and nearly beat the Chiefs last year. It took an incredible across-the-body throw by Mahomes to a streaking Hill to keep that game alive. And the Chiefs will be without left tackle Eric Fisher, who missed all but a couple of plays on the opening drive in Week Two, due to injury. However, it’s the Chiefs home-opener, and this team has a sense of urgency about this season that’s refreshing. With Mahomes building a rapport with his targets–he connected with seven teammates on Sunday while barely missing an eighth–and with LeSean McCoy growing more comfortable in the offense by the day, the Chiefs should play a little more consistently. I expect Frank Clark to show up, and combined with Jones, that front seven will do a sufficient job limiting Jackson and Mark Ingram. It’s going to be tough, and it may not be pretty, but I’m picking the home team, 30-24.
I would really like to thank Cullen Jekel and KC Kingdom for their help preparing the Ravens Flock for what they are about to watch on Sunday. These are great insights from a true pro that covers the Chiefs. Be sure to check out Jekel’s work.