The Baltimore Ravens have lost close games to the Kansas City Chiefs in each of the last two seasons at Arrowhead. This year, the Ravens get to host the Chiefs, but there will be no fans in attendance, just 250 “friends and family” of Ravens staff.
Will the Ravens get the KC monkey off their back? RSR staff give our bold predictions here…
On Monday, September 28, 1970 – fifty years ago – the Super Bowl Champion Kansas Chiefs came to Baltimore for the second ever Monday Night Football game. Tonight, they enter the bank as defending champs seeking to advance to (3-0).
This is a game that the Ravens have had circled since the schedule was released in April. They expected to host the Chiefs in the AFC Championship just 8 months ago. Things didn’t work out the way they were supposed to on paper and consequently, Lamar Jackson, despite his regular season heroics, has had to live with the rap that he hasn’t won a playoff game. He’ll have to wait a few more months to silence those critics but tonight he can mute others who remind him that he hasn’t beaten Patrick Mahomes either.
These are the things that motivate Jackson – an extreme competitor.
- Lamar has a passer rating of 81.3 in two games versus Kansas City. Against the rest of the league the 2019 MVP sports a career rating of 110.2. That’s about to change. Look for a slash line of 20/27/250/3/0 for a rating of 139.4. He’ll add 60 yards on the ground.
- Mark Andrews was quiet in Houston. He won’t be tonight. Andrews will haul in 6 balls and outpace the more heralded tight end Travis Kelce by a 75 to 50 yard margin.
- Marquise Brown hits pay dirt for the first time this season as he out-duels Tyreek Hill, 105 yards to 70.
- K. Dobbins scores again, this time by air on a swing pass that ends in 6 when he forces two missed tackles.
- Look for the Ravens to get out to an early lead that will eventually swell to 30-13. The Ravens will try to grind it out to put the game away but some big plays from Mahomes gets the Chiefs back in it late. But the Ravens will prevail when they come up with a game winning turnover on downs inside of two minutes while protecting a four point lead.
Ravens 33, Chiefs 29
Get ready for fireworks. The Raven and Chiefs will exchange blows, and while that used to be concerning for Ravens fans, as the team was never built to withstand a shootout? That’s no longer the case. The Ravens offense can match the Chiefs in the aerial assault.
The biggest difference? The depth of Baltimore’s backfield.
One thing I’ve noticed with the Chiefs is their inability to stop running backs thus far. Through two games, the Chiefs have allowed a 110 total yards and a touchdown to Texans RB David Johnson, and 130 total yards to Austin Ekeler. With that in mind, could this be the breakout J.K. Dobbins game? I think Mark Ingram still gets the bulk of the carries, but the rookie running back Dobbins will finish the day with the highest total among Baltimore’s backfield, with 105 total yards and a score.
While the ground game will be integral for Baltimore, the passing game should fare well as a complement. Mark Andrews will rebound with a solid 5/60/1 line, and Hollywood Brown will have a few big catches downfield, surpassing the 100-yard mark for the second time in three games. Jackson will do his damage on the ground (seven carries, 65 yards, rushing touchdown) but will find the end zone twice via passes to Andrews & Miles Boykin as well.
On the flip side, to expect Patrick Mahomes to be held down would be foolish. Look back to last week’s OT win, and Mahomes accounted for 356/414 yards of total offense, and the only two touchdowns. Mahomes will get his in this game. Let’s call it 300 yards and a pair of touchdowns… sealed with a Jimmy Smith interception.
Ravens walk away from this one 3-0 and moving their focus to the WFT (Washington Football Team).
Ravens 34 Chiefs 30
This is the game that the football world has been waiting for. The biggest difference that everyone is talking about is the addition of Marcus Peters. He’s been the most impactful on the defense since they played last season but, he’s one of many changes. Calais Campbell, Derek Wolfe, L.J Fort and Patrick Queen have all raised the level of the defensive play this season. I think it will prove to be the difference in the Ravens coming out on top.
— Marcus Peters or Marlon Humphrey create a turnover for the 3rd straight week.
— Patrick Mahomes is sacked 3 times and only by middle linebackers and defensive backs.
— Nick Boyle has a touchdown reception.
— Hollywood Brown has over 100 yards and a touchdown.
— J.K Dobbins has 80 rushing yards, 30 receiving yards and a touchdown.
— Lamar outperforms Mahomes in yards and touchdowns.
Ravens 31 Chiefs 24
Jackson vs. Mahomes is all the main media is talking about. However, neither of them will ever be on the field at the same time. Lamar hit it home, saying that he isn’t focused on Patrick Mahomes. He is focused on the Chief’s defense and scoring points. With that said, here are my bold predictions.
— Pat Mahomes throws his first interception of the season to DeShon Elliott
— Tyus Bowser gets a sack
— Patrick Queen leads the team in tackles with 9
— Gus Edwards bust the Chiefs Defense for 80 yards no TD
— Anthony Averett redeems himself with a decent day of coverage
— Travis Kelce will be the problem child for the Ravens D
Look for a shootout.
Ravens 37 Chiefs 28
This could easily be the best game of the year. Both teams are primed for a deep playoff run, and the matchup seems to be the next big rivalry in the NFL. I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.
— KC will force Lamar to throw, and even though he can better than almost anyone, they’ll trust that he can’t better than Mahomes. The Chiefs hold the Ravens running backs to just over 100 yards.
— Jackson will throw his first interception of the season on a deep shot to Miles Boykin. Mahomes will also be picked off by Marcus Peters.
— Travis Kelce scores 2 TDs, but Tyrell Hill is scoreless and Mark Andrews has a TD of his own.
— The game goes right down to the wire, but an early missed field goal by Butler makes the difference.
Ravens 38 Chiefs 35
This may be the marquee matchup of the entire season and somehow ESPN snagged it on Monday Night Football. Not only will this be a massive early season game, but this could give one of these teams a major advantage when it comes to tiebreakers come playoff time. There should be plenty of fireworks as both teams have firepower at every turn.
The major advantage the Ravens possess in this matchup is the strength of their secondary. If there’s any team in the league that can slow down the Chiefs, it’s the Ravens and their secondary.
From a betting perspective, I’m torn and probably staying away from this game. The Ravens have been hot going 6-1 ATS in their last seven games, but the Chiefs are equally as hot going 10-1 ATS over their last 11. I’m going to back the Chiefs here because of the extra half point. I think this will be a close game and I can see it coming down to a last-minute field goal.
Either way, this is going to be an extremely exciting game to watch and has all the makings of a classic at the Bank. Unfortunately, nobody will be there to see it.
My Pick: Kansas City +3.5