Chiefs news for 27 September 2020
The obvious point of attack for the Chiefs offense should be the middle of the field. Only target Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey when absolutely necessary, and instead go after the linebackers and safeties. If the Chiefs can get Clyde Edwards-Helaire as hot this week as they did in Week 1, they will be able to grab chunks of yards and control the clock, while also bringing the safeties and linebackers up to line.
Attack the line of scrimmage almost every single play. The Ravens’ offensive line has the durability of wet cardboard, and the Chiefs’ defensive line is scary in and of itself, but add a linebacker or Tyrann Mathieu‘s bright yellow cleats, and the Ravens are going to struggle to have any offensive success. Jackson is going to have to abandon the pocket in about two seconds, and as long as any QB spy is quick—might I suggest Willie Gay Jr. or Tyrann Mathieu—Jackson is going to have to toss the ball on the run or hit the turf.
“About Willie, we always have hopes of playing as many guys as we can,” Spagnuolo said. “Matt House does a great job with Willie, Matt and Britt (Reid). I think he’s progressed really well. You know, you have guys in there that are a little more experienced. The position that he plays, there are some adjustments that you have to go through. He’ll find his way in there. We’re hopeful to continue to add on plays and reps in practice and then find his way into the game.”
Ravens: 35 Chiefs 30. Tough game to pick. Patrick Mahomes as an underdog feels like a crime against humanity, yet there’s no question the Ravens have looked like the NFL’s best team early. They pass the numbers test and the eye test. The Chiefs are 2-0 without having their offense in gear.
“I don’t love to simplify picks in this spot buuuuuuuuuuut I have updated my three simple rules in life to include “always bet on Patrick Mahomes if he’s getting points on a prime-time stage.” Yes, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are great, but Mahomes getting more than a field goal? It feels like a trap. Feed me the points.”
Sammy Watkins (concussion, neck) is questionable for Monday night | PFT
The Chiefs are still holding out hope for having their No. 2 receiver on Monday night at Baltimore. Sammy Watkins is questionable with a concussion and a neck injury. He returned to practice on a limited basis on Friday, and he fully participated in Saturday’s practice. Also questionable for the Week Three are cornerback Charvarius Ward (hand) and linebacker Dorian O’Daniel (knee, ankle).
“He loves the game and loves it when the game is on the line,” coach Andy Reid said. “He wants the ball. Other guys, I think, shy away from that. He wants it, and he’s got guys around him who want it, and who are willing to reach down deep in a situation like [against the Chargers].”
“The good thing about having the guys that I have on my team, the receivers, running backs and tight ends that we have, is that defenses have to be accountable for those guys. [Defenses are] getting depth, they’re trying to stop those guys from beating them over the top. Whenever there’s room to run I have to be able to take advantage of it. Usually when I scramble I’m looking to throw so you’re seeing that defenses now, they’re not leaving their guy. They’re kind of just staying on them and letting me run.”
While many talking heads will be discussing the battle between these two young MVP quarterbacks, and deservedly so, there is another battle that could decide the outcome: the kicking game. Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker and Ravens kicker Justin Tucker are the two best kickers in the NFL. With how close these two teams match up, it could come down to a field goal just like in the 2018 game. Whoever has the ball last may end up the winner in this one.
The Ravens made a valiant effort to come back in the fourth quarter but came up just short in their attempt. Incredibly, Lamar Jackson is 20-1 vs the rest of the league as a starter in the regular season, but 0-2 against the Chiefs. Will Kansas City be able to contain Jackson just enough to get the job done again?
“Listen, I’ve been going through this for years and years in football, when you have a quarterback like that, it’s very hard to simulate what they do,” Spagnuolo told reporters Friday. “It’s hard to simulate their blocking up front, it’s hard to simulate all the pulls and all the motions and shifts that they do. That’s part of coaching on defense and being a player on defense.”
“If your eyes keep worrying about No. 8 having it, that’s not going to be a good day — he’ll never have it, he’ll just hand it off to the three backs,” Spagnuolo said. “So, we’re going to work this thing inside out and try to keep pushing it out if we can. And when he does tuck it and go, we got to find more than one guy around him to tackle him because we know what he can do — he can make the first guy miss. We just got to have that second and third guy there.”