NFL Game of the Week: Chiefs vs. Ravens
Week 3 in the NFL is chock full of premier matchups between some of the most electric teams in the league, and Monday night might be the best one of the bunch as the 2-0 Kansas City Chiefs visit the Baltimore Ravens, who are also undefeated. Time to take a look at the key storylines in this bout between two powerhouses in the AFC.
After showing balance on offense in their Week 1 victory over the Houston Texans, the Chiefs looked much more beatable against the Chargers, who essentially gave the game away by letting Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes have the ball back in overtime.
Meanwhile, the host Ravens look every bit as dominant as the 2019 version, commanding the clock with efficient rush schemes and stingy defense against the Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans in their games so far.
The Ravens have found the perfect system to develop Lamar Jackson as a passer. Baltimore can use his athleticism and the bruising nature of their running back room to dictate the passing game over the middle of the field, opening up big plays for slot receiver Marquise Brown and tight end Mark Andrews.
Kansas City added dynamic running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, and he has shown that his combination of burst and toughness has translated well to the pro game. The Chiefs have found their true featured back, and this has created a multi-dimensional offense much like the one that Baltimore boasts.
The Ravens have the ability to contain Edwards-Helaire, which likley leaves the superstar Mahomes to create some plays with his legs and soften up Baltimore’s secondary. Baltimore’s defense has excelled early on this season, but not by completely freezing the opposing offense on the field. Instead, by fastening down tight in the red zone and only allowing 11 points per their two contests played.
It’s almost disappointing to see this matchup in September, as the Chiefs do not quite look like they are playing their ‘A’ game yet. Mahomes has been solid, but NFL fans have yet to be treated to his eye-widening heroics and impossibly great highlights. The Chiefs look good, but not great.
The Ravens on the other hand are out to prove early this year that they should be considered Super Bowl contenders by dominating both opponents they have faced. Their defense made once promising Browns signal caller Baker Mayfield appear pedestrian, and held a very dynamic Deshaun Watson to just one touchdown pass.
It will be key for Baltimore to perform defensively for a third straight week and keep the game under wraps. Of course, it is notoriously difficult to keep Mahomes in check, and this game could very well end up being a high-scoring slugfest.
This exciting meeting between the class of the AFC should be close all the way to the end, but the Ravens just barely hold on to win.
Prediction: Ravens 31, Chiefs 28
Jeremy Ganes is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.