Sizing up the Ravens AFC playoff competition
The Baltimore Ravens are one win away from clinching the number one seed in the AFC Playoffs. Who is their biggest threat ?
The Ravens sit at 12-2 poised to head to Cleveland to hopefully put the finishing touches on the AFC’s number one seed. Doing so will mean they don’t have to leave Baltimore in what many fans are hoping and almost expecting will be a run to the Super Bowl in Miami.
While it seems impossible to imagine a scenario where the Ravens may lose, the possibility always exists so I wanted to rank which of the fellow AFC contenders could give the Ravens the most problems in the playoffs.
1) Kansas City Chiefs
I know that the Patriots have won six Super Bowls. I know that Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are the GOAT. Furthermore I know that the Patriots likely have some questionable tapes lying around with everything the Ravens ran against them during the week nine 37-20 thrashing of the Patriots.
With all that being said, the biggest obstacle that will stand in Baltimore’s way will be reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. Mahomes is 2-0 against the Ravens in the past two years and thrives under blitz pressure. For those of you who don’t know, the Ravens blitz more than any team in the NFL. He is the kryptonite to what the Ravens try to do defensively.
Mahomes and company also have a ton of weapons to boast in tight end Travis Kelce, and receivers Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins, and Mecole Hardman. This will test a talented Ravens’ pass defense. While the Chiefs’ defense ranks 18th in the NFL, they are improving rapidly having surrendered an average of 324 yards a contest which would be good for eighth in the league. They have also given up just 11 points per game over the last four weeks.
While It is important to factor in that the average ranking of those opponents in total offense is 16th, it is hard to ignore Kansas City defense. They rank 11th in the NFL with 39 sacks on the season and just added longtime sack artist Terrell Suggs to the fray.
The high-octane offense coupled with an improving defense represents the biggest deterrent for the Super Bowl hopeful Ravens.