NFL Game Previews: Chiefs-Ravens Matchup

NFL Game Previews: Chiefs-Ravens Matchup

This article is part of our NFL Game Previews series.

Kansas City (+3.5) at Baltimore, o/u 53.5 – Monday, 8:15 p.m. EDT

All apologies to the Sunday nighter, but this is without a doubt the main event of the week if not the entire regular season. The defending champs on the road against their most dangerous rival, who they managed to duck in their march through the playoffs last year? Yes please. Kansas City hasn't really had a signature offensive eruption yet, but Patrick Mahomes still boasts a 5:0 TD:INT. Curiously, his YPA is way down through two games, as are his intended air yards per attempt. If defenses are selling out to stop the bombs to Tyreek Hill, it will be interesting to see how Andy Reid adjusts — though that adjustment might have been coming anyway in this matchup, as Travis Kelce has posted a 14-166-1 line on 17 targets the last two years against the Ravens. The bigger question isn't how Mahomes will get his points, but how the KC defense will prevent Lamar Jackson from getting his. Baltimore's offense is a juggernaut, basically doing whatever it wants to whoever it's facing. The Browns and Texans defenses decided they had to respect the Ravens' ground game, so Jackson picked them apart en route to a dizzying 77.6 percent completion rate and mammoth 9.8 YPA. Even if this game meets all expectations when it comes to points on the scoreboard, it might be the defense that makes a stand when it needs it that decides this one.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Erik Siegrist
Erik Siegrist is an FSWA award-winning columnist who covers all four major North American sports (that means the NHL, not NASCAR) and whose beat extends back to the days when the Nationals were the Expos and the Thunder were the Sonics. He was the inaugural champion of Rotowire's Staff Keeper baseball league. His work has also appeared at Baseball Prospectus.
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