Three things to watch for as Ravens host Chiefs
Here are three things to watch for as the Ravens and Chiefs are set for their week three Monday Night Football clash.
It has been circled on the calendar since the NFL schedule release on May 7,2020.
Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens. Monday Night Football September 28th. And while we never could have envisioned that game taking place inside an empty M&T Bank Stadium, the excitement for this match up remains as fervent even still.
This game will showcase the last two NFL MVP’S in Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes and reigning unanimous MVP Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. It boasts two of the NFL’s best head coaches in Andy Reid and John Harbaugh. It will have two of the NFL’s best offenses on display. And lastly, it features the NFL’S two best kickers in Harrison Butker and the GOAT Justin Tucker.
The Ravens come into this game looking to get to 3-0 after a 33-16 victory over the Houston Texans last week at NRG Stadium. The Chiefs arrive in Baltimore searching for their fourth straight 3-0 start after upending a game Los Angeles Chargers bunch 23-20 in overtime last week.
Kansas City will be looking for their third straight win over the Ravens in this newly budding “rivalry” and KC leads the all-time series 6-4. With both teams projecting to be atop the AFC Playoff race, this is a contest that could go a long way in deciding which team is the #1 seed and will have home field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs. Long way to go to decide that as we know and you cannot discount the Bills and Titans here either.
Here are three things to watch for ahead of one of the most anticipated NFL Week Three contests in recent memory.
1) Thoughts and hope for the defense:
What a night to be a defender.
On one side, you may have the best QB in the NFL in Mahomes. On the other side, you may have the best football player in the NFL in Jackson. And on either side of that is a defender cowering in the fetal position.
Mahomes and Jackson’s exploits are noteworthy. In addition to the MVP’S aforementioned, Mahomes has a Super Bowl Trophy and Super Bowl MVP in a run that saw him come back from 10+ down in each of the Chiefs playoff victories. Jackson joined elite company as a unanimous MVP and shattered the record books last season at every turn.
Let’s take a look at the arsenal of weapons these poor defenders will be tasked with slowing down as well. Two of the games four best tight ends in Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews. Two absolute burners in Tyreek Hill (the aptly nicknamed Cheetah) and Marquise “Hollywood” Brown whom we have yet to see unleashed on a deep ball (yes that’s foreshadowing, he’s catching a deep ball Monday night.) Quality depth weapons abound in Sammy Watkins, Mecole Hardman, Miles Boykin, and Willie Snead IV. And elite running games featuring the Ravens four headed monster and Chiefs rookie sensation Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
The Ravens SHOULD be better suited to stop the Chiefs than vice-versa. The cornerback duo of Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey is the best in the NFL and are a suitable match up for the Chiefs wide receivers but the Ravens will miss Tavon Young in the slot after he went down to a season-ending ACL injury last week. Thankfully Jimmy Smith was kept by the team this off-season and can help to fill shoes because Anthony Averett is a fifth corner for a reason.
I do have some genuine concern in regards to how the Ravens deal with Travis Kelce. Kelce has tallied 14 catches for 166 yards and touchdown in the last two meetings. The Ravens have some different options for covering Kelce than in the past in Patrick Queen, Malik Harrison, LJ Fort, and DeShon Elliott but the group has struggled with tight ends this season:
This might be the top matchup to watch this Monday night. If the Ravens contain Kelce, they should emerge victorious.