Ravens vs. Chiefs: What a difference a year could make
Last year the Baltimore Ravens lost a game in Arrowhead Stadium 31-28, in overtime. A new year could make this a whole different story:
The Baltimore Ravens couldn’t be a more different team than they were the last time they faced the Kansas City Chiefs. Last year the Ravens were heading into their third game with Lamar Jackson as the starting quarterback. Jackson was operating an offense that was designed just to get Marty Mornhinweg through the rest of the season.
Greg Roman has taken control of the offense. Now the offense seems to have a plan, and the play-calling is much more inspired. No matter what you thought of Jackson in his rookie season, it’s hard to deny that Marty Mornhinweg’s lack of imagination held this team back. Greg Roman reinvented the offense and now he has the direct control of being the offensive coordinator.
In the 2018 contest, Jackson had 147 yards passing. While he had two touchdowns it was clear that he was work in progress as a passer. Jackson fumbled the ball near the end of the game and the Chiefs ended up winning in overtime. Through two games Jackson has shown himself to be a new and improved passer. He threw for five touchdowns and over 300 yards against the Miami Dolphins. He had 270 through the air against the Cardinals and he hit on a clutch throw that sealed the game.
Last year the Baltimore offense didn’t have the same kind of play-makers that it has this year. The Ravens didn’t have Mark Ingram II or Marquise Brown last year. Brown in particular adds a completely different kind of weapon for this offense. Brown has 12 receptions for 220 yards and two touchdowns this year.
The Chiefs know exactly how Brown can hurt them because he offers a similar skill-set to their star, Tyreek Hill. Brown is averaging almost 20 yards per reception. The Ravens have a young receiver who is showing all the signs of being a superstar talent. The Chiefs have to worry about a deep threat this year and it’s a worry that might have kept Andy Reid awake last night.
Mark Andrews is starting the 2019 season as an elite weapon at the tight end position. Last year he was just an impressive rookie. The Jackson to Andrews connection is so sharp right now, it adds an entirely new dynamic to this offense.
The Ravens gave up a lot of big plays in the 2018 game. Tyreek Hill had over 100 yards and Travis Kelce caught seven passes for 77 yards. In this game Hill won’t be playing because of an injury. The Chiefs still have Kelce and Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson have proven to be dangerous play-makers this season. Eric Weddle may be a legend but Earl Thomas gives the Ravens a much better chance of limiting the big plays that the Chiefs are known for.
The Ravens may have some issues in the secondary however the defense is still very respectable. The front seven of the Ravens has been incredible so far into 2019. The defense is on a similar level as it was last year. The offense for the Ravens is completely different.
Last year, Jackson was going into his fourth game and Baltimore was a huge underdog. This year Jackson is playing like an MVP candidate and the Ravens winning wouldn’t be a shocker. Baltimore is still an underdog, however the Ravens have shown that they are capable of big things this year. We have to wait to see what the outcome will be, yet the Chiefs are facing a much more dangerous Baltimore team in week 3.