Ravens: 5 questions with a Chiefs expert ahead of Week 2

Ravens, Patrick Mahomes Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Patrick Mahomes Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens will return home in Week 2 to play host to the powerhouse Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday Night Football.

It’s the Ravens’ second straight primetime game to begin the new season, although they’ll be hoping for a better outcome in this one after a heartbreaking overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1.

That might be easier said than done, however.

The Ravens are no strangers to the Chiefs having fallen short of beating them on a number of occasions in recent years. And with injuries ravaging their roster (not to mention a perfectly healthy Chiefs team), this one feels more lopsided than ever before.

Will Lamar Jackson and the Ravens have enough left in the tank to upset their dominant foes? Or will Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs roll to a 2-0 start with yet another victory over their AFC opponents?

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Matt Conner or Arrowhead Addict to discuss tonight’s game. Matt is an expert on all things Chiefs and helped provide us with the opponent’s perspective.

Here is a quick overview of our conversation.

Sammy Watkins’ return to Kansas City

JF: Sammy Watkins has quickly become an important part of the Ravens’ offense, and he’ll be looking for revenge against his former team this week. How do you think the Chiefs will go about slowing him down?

MC: “Some Chiefs fans will joke that they will just wait for him to get injured during the game, but serious fans know of and respect Watkins’ ability to be so dangerous, especially after the catch.

Not sure of a real answer here considering the team’s primary strategy will likely be to force Lamar Jackson to beat them through the air, making Watkins a real asset here.

The Chiefs had some real tackling issues last week and Watkins will burn you in that case. The Chiefs have to shore that up quickly.”

How can the Chiefs avoid a letdown against the Ravens?

JF: The Chiefs have had their way with the Ravens over the last few years. What do they need to do to avoid a letdown in Week 2?

MC: “Yeah this is a real concern for most teams, and if I forget about Andy Reid’s professionalism, then I can get concerned that the momentum has me feeling a bit too good about the results here.

However, Reid preaches “week by week” so to speak, and the locker room leadership isn’t going to allow them to overlook any opponent. If the Ravens win, it will be because they earned it and not because the Chiefs didn’t take them seriously enough.”

Under-the-radar Chiefs player that could make an impact

JF: Who is one under-the-radar Chiefs player who you feel could make a major impact in this game?

MC: “He might not be a mystery to Ravens fans who’ve watched the last couple losses, but Mecole Hardman has put up 180 receiving yards in two games against the Ravens, proving that Baltimore has been comfortable shifting defensive assets elsewhere to help blanket/bracket Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill.

Hardman’s elite speed — the nickname here is Jet — will force defenses to pay attention or pay the consequences”

How can the Chiefs slow down Lamar Jackson and the Ravens’ running game?

JF: The Chiefs allowed 153 rushing yards and four touchdowns to the Browns last Sunday and they face an obviously dangerous Ravens ground game this week. What do the Chiefs need to do to slow down Lamar Jackson and Baltimore’s rushing attack?

MC: “The Chiefs should be better for two primary reasons here: the return of both Tyrann Mathieu and Frank Clark.

Not only are both players going to help there, but their presence also allows other players to settle back into roles they’re made for and not overreaching in the absence of others. We can also hope rookie linebacker Nick Bolton learns quickly from week to week.”

Final predictions for the Ravens/Chiefs game?

JF: Final predictions for the game, who will win, and by what score?

MC: “Chiefs 30, Ravens 17. The Ravens have a solid core and the sort of organizational culture and consistency that is the envy of most teams.

But to be without the likes of Ronnie Stanley, Marcus Peters and a host of others just means they have to work that much harder to beat a team that’s had their number for years.”

Next. Ravens vs. Chiefs: 5 key matchups to watch in Week 2. dark

Thanks again to Matt for taking the time. Be sure to check out his wonderful content over at Arrowhead Addict!