The only “crowd” noise for the Ravens’ showdown with the Kansas Chiefs on Monday Night Football will have to come through the speakers at M&T Bank Stadium.
The biggest regular-season game of the 2020 season will have zero attendance because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s an especially disappointing development for the Ravens, who are playing a Monday night game at home for just the third time in Harbaugh’s 13 years as the head coach.
Nonetheless, there is a national buzz surrounding this game and the TV ratings could shatter records.
“It is pretty unbelievable in terms of how few Monday night home games we’ve had in the past 13 years,” Harbaugh said. “We get one against the Chiefs, and it’s kind of a big game, and fans are not going to be there. I don’t even know what to say about that. 2020, man – it’s that kind of a crazy year, I guess.
“But we’ll be excited to play still. And all that being said, it’ll still be a great environment. It’ll still be a lot of fun. We’ll be ready. They’ll be ready. It’ll be a great night for football.”
The Chiefs have beaten the Ravens in each of the past two seasons, but by a total of just eight points. Arrowhead Stadium was loud in both of those of games and the Chiefs admittedly got a boost from the raucous home crowd.
The Ravens won’t have that same advantage. The weather is also not a factor this early in the seasons.
The Ravens might have some extra motivation after two consecutive losses to Kansas City. The winner of this game will also become the prohibitive Super Bowl favorites.
In short, there is a lot on the line for the game in the third week of the season. That’s a dynamic not lost on either team.
“They’re the defending champs, and we know we’re going to have to play our best football [and] put our best foot forward in order to get a ‘W.’ So, we’ll be focused in,” Baltimore running back Mark Ingram said. “We’ll watch our film, make the corrections, and we’ll just get ready to work on the game plan [for] next week [and] get ready for the defending champs.”
One of the main storylines in this game is Lamar Jackson versus Patrick Mahomes. Both of those players will downplay that narrative, contending they’re competing against the opposing defense, not one another.
The Ravens have been the most impressive teams over the opening two weeks of the season, winning a pair of games by an average of 24.5 points.
Just moments after the Ravens ran past the Texans 33-16 on the road, the coaches and players already began thinking about the showdown with the Chiefs.
“You can’t help it; you think about it. It’s probably the first thing that goes into your mind once you get in the locker room,” Harbaugh. “You kind of start talking about the game and then everybody is talking about it in the locker room, about the next one, too.
In the end, the game between the Ravens and Kansas City won’t make or break the season, especially this early in the year. The game could have an impact on the home-field advantage in the playoffs.
“It’s time to get back to working – time to get back to KC,” Ravens safety DeShon Elliott said. “Obviously, you all know, he’s a fantastic quarterback. Patrick [Mahomes]; that’s one of my good friends, so I’m ready to play him – ready to go against him. It’s going to be a great game, so everybody tune in to that. It’s going to be a fantastic game.”