A lot of talk about the Kansas City Chiefs this year is that their wide receivers are not as good as the season prior. While that is true, another area where the Baltimore Ravens can expose the Chiefs' offense is their tackles.
The Baltimore Ravens edge rushers need to step up against the Kansas City Chiefs
Between Donovan Smith and Jawaan Taylor, they are seeing drop-offs at both tackle spots compared to last year. Smith has a 95.6 pass block efficiency rate and ten penalties this year, while Orlando Brown was at 96.3 with seven penalties last year. Taylor has a slightly better pass block efficiency rate than Andre Wylie last year, but he has 23 penalties compared to the 10 of Wylie.
This is good for a Baltimore Ravens pass rush that has found a bunch of studs along the edges. They signed both Kyle Van Noy and Jadeveon Clowney late into the offseason, and Odafe Oweh hit his stride in year three. The trio is breaking out across the board.
Kyle Van Noy posted a career-high nine sacks this year, while Jadeveon Clowney and Odafe Oweh tied career highs with 9.5 and five sacks, respectively. It does not get much better.
In the Divisional Round, Van Noy and Clowney had a couple of huge tackles in the run game, and Van Noy added four pressures. Oweh hurt his ankle in week 18 and looked to be getting back into the swing of things this week.
The veterans look their best at the right time. The younger Oweh could be playing better or could be healthier than he is right now, but in a rotation, the Ravens can still trust him.
If the Baltimore Ravens want to shut down Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, they are going to need to win with these three edge rushers against the two Chiefs' tackles.