Ravens starting 2024 season against Chiefs could be a positive in the long run

The Ravens will face off against the best in the AFC
AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens
AFC Championship - Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens / Kara Durrette/GettyImages

John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens could not have been handed a more difficult start to their 2024 season, as the first game of the year will be an AFC Championship rematch against Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. To make matters worse, the Thursday Night opener will be on the road at Arrowhead Stadium.

Some Ravens fans are irritated (and have every right to be) with the fact they have to once again face off against the best team in the league right off the bad. However, some optimists are taking the stance that playing Kansas City now could be the best-case scenario.

As mentioned by Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, the Ravens are a solid 12-4 in season-opening games during the Harbaugh era, with three of those losses coming during the aggressively mediocre period from 2013 to 2015. Harbaugh has typically prepared his team well for the start of the season.

Zrebiec also mentioned that playing Kansas City in Week 1, when they will once again be working out the rough parts in a new-look offense, might be better than taking them on in December, when Mahomes and the offense are usually riding momentum into the postseason. Baltimore could sneak up on Kansas City early, like the Lions did last year.

Ravens vs. Chiefs Week 1 could be a blessing in disguise

While the Ravens may be weaker than last year due to all of their free agent losses, and Kansas City addressed their big wide receiver shortage by drafting Xavier Worthy and signing Marquise Brown, there's a very clear path to victory for Baltimore here.

The Chiefs lost home primetime games within the first six weeks of the season in each of the last two seasons and started 2-3 in 2021. If you want a shot at taking down Kansas City, the best time to do it is before Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and the rest of the offense start to get in a groove.

Kansas City is still as good as it gets in the league, but this team has some exploitable holes. Even the team's new receiving crops is far from anything that will keep Zach Orr up at night, and the loss of star cornerback L'Jarius Sneed could take a big chunk out of the Chiefs' tremendous defense.

Every team wants to start the season 1-0, and the fact it's impossible to get a harder matchup than playing Mahomes and the Chiefs on the road in primetime. At least the Ravens will get the Chiefs when they are an unknown quantity instead of speeding towards another postseason spot.