When the Baltimore Ravens face off with the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday, one of the biggest matchups will be the quarterback of the Chiefs offense against the quarterback of the Ravens defense.
The Baltimore Ravens need the best from Roquan Smith in the AFC Championship game
The Baltimore Ravens did not specifically trade for Roquan Smith for this moment, but these are the moments that had to be in mind when they made this trade. Smith is going to be the most valuable player on the field for a reason.
First off, he will duel with Patrick Mahomes in terms of checking into audibles, getting his players set, and making the right decisions pre-snap. Smith is the key communicator and cannot let Mahomes trick him. It also feels significant that Smith played most of his early career with the Chicago Bears under head coach Matt Nagy, who will now be calling plays for the Chiefs on Sunday. Smith may have the advantage here.
After the snap, he has to be aware of Mahomes' ability as a play extender and scrambler. Also, he is the best run defender on the unit, and the Chiefs’ rushing attack is a key reason they have been able to grind out these playoff games. Lastly, when Smith drops into coverage, he will be dealing with a lot of Travis Kelce, who roams over the middle and is often matched up with linebackers.
The Kansas City Chiefs are a team built to expose linebackers with passes over the middle, scrambles, runs right at you, and everything else in a confusing manner. The Baltimore Ravens traded for Roquan Smith to make sure that they were not victims of this style of offense. We will see the value of Smith on full display for the Baltimore Ravens this weekend.