Last time we delved into the the Week Two match-up between the Chiefs and the Raiders. This week we look at the meeting between Kansas City and the Ravens!
Week Three of the 2019 NFL season has the Baltimore Ravens travelling to Kansas City for the Chiefs home opener. Baltimore has officially moved on from the Elite Joe Flacco and thrust
running back quarterback Lamar Jackson into the starting role. They have also made some key offseason moves to acquire RB Mark Ingram, Safety Earl Thomas, and Kansas City native LB Shane Ray.
How The Kansas City Chiefs Win
With the immense amount of room to grow from a purely passing standpoint, it will be interesting to see how Jackson looks with another offseason under his belt — and by “interesting” I mean to say that I will likely be laughing loudly when he continues to beat up the turf with footballs on 10 yard posts.
The combination of Jackson and Ingram suggests a strong running game, however, and the newly revamped Kansas City defense will need to focus on shutting it down early and forcing the young QB to throw the ball. Last year Baltimore was able to stick to their offensive philosophy and brought the Chiefs closer to a loss than they should have been, so this year it must be a point of emphasis to play smart and physical football at the point of attack.
On offense, Mahomes and Company will need to start off faster and tighter than they did last year as well. Though Mahomes had some memorable plays in that game — a no-look pass and the Miracle Ball to Hill on 4th down — chemistry appeared to be lacking. With a potential Hill suspension possibly forcing Mecole Hardman on the field for this game, cohesion between Mahomes and the young bloods on offense will be critical.
If the passing game stalls out, Kansas City may have to see if their new running back corps can keep pace with the Ravens. While I’m content with the players available to rotate into the ground game, I don’t think they are on the same level as Ingram and Jackson.
How The Baltimore Ravens Win
Once again, Baltimore’s ground game will be the most pivotal aspect of this game. All jokes aside, containing a quarterback as mobile as Jackson has not exactly been a strong suit of recent Chiefs’ defenses. If Spagnuolo has his guys firing on all cylinders early on in the season, and if his new scheme is better at keeping Jackson in the pocket, they may be able to neutralize a lot of what the Ravens will aspire to achieve.
If not, though, this could be a long day for the Chiefs defense.
To slow down the Kansas City offense is a completely different issue, and one not many defensive coordinators have been able to solve. Surely a lot of time has been spent this offseason studying how New England — as well as Denver at times — was able to keep Mahomes in check for large portions of the game. If Baltimore can build upon those theories and improve them, they have the opportunity to keep this game close enough that a fluke play here or there might afford them a road victory.
But I doubt it.
With this being the Chiefs Home Opener, I don’t think this game goes anywhere near Baltimore’s direction. Kansas City has advantages at quarterback, head coach, wide receiver, and potentially defense (I know, it’s way too early to say). Short of a complete meltdown or — knock on wood — key injuries, Chiefs fans should be treated to another fun romp through four quarters of offensive ecstasy.
Score Prediction: Chiefs 38, Ravens 14
What are your score predictions for this game? Anything I may have overlooked to sway your opinion a certain way?