The Baltimore Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs will square off in the most anticipated matchup in Week 3. Both teams are off to 2-0 starts this season but only one can come out of this undefeated (unless there’s a tie).
The Ravens, more so Lamar Jackson, have turned some heads this season with the play of their offense. Baltimore faced the Miami Dolphins in Week 1 and they were able to take control of the game very early.
As Jackson threw for 324 yards and five touchdowns, the Ravens secured a 59-10 win over the Dolphins. The new-look offense of the Ravens would take their newfound momentum into Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals fared better than the Dolphins but were unable to overcome the early onslaught of the Baltimore offense. The Ravens got off to a 17-6 lead, but Kyler Murray was able to close the gap in the fourth quarter.
It was a valiant effort from Murray and company, but the Ravens would come out unscathed in a 23-17 win over the Cardinals. On the other side, there isn’t much that needs to be said about Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.
Their offense is something you would see in a video game with their ability to put up points in bunches. With that being said, here are four reasons why the Ravens will beat the Chiefs in Week 3.
4. The Ravens Run Defense Has Been Remarkable
Every year, the Ravens seem to have a phenomenal defense regardless of who is on the field. This offseason, they lost C.J. Mosley, Eric Weddle, Za’Darius Smith, and Terrell Suggs. Yet, they haven’t missed a beat on defense.
Up to this point in the season, Baltimore has essentially made it nearly impossible to run against them. The Ravens have allowed just 20.5 rushing yards per game this season (least in the NFL). Furthermore, they held David Johnson to just 14 yards last week.
As explosive as the Chiefs offense has been, their ability to run the ball has been the glaring weakness of their offense. Making Kansas City one dimensional against their talented defense could prove to pay dividends on Sunday.
3. Marquise Brown Can Create Plays Downfield
Despite the Chiefs signing Tyrann Mathieu, their secondary still has shown signs of being susceptible to the pass. In two games this season, Kansas City has allowed 262.5 yards to opposing offenses.
Along with their yards per game allowed, they’ve also given up the fourth-longest pass play of the season to DJ Chark in Week 1. On the play, Chark was able to bust loose for a 69-yard reception against the Chiefs secondary.
This week, Baltimore will look to get Marquise Brown involved in their aerial attack downfield. The rookie wideout has averaged 19.4 yards per reception in his first two games in the NFL. His big-play ability could come into play versus the Chiefs in Week 3.
2. The Ravens Rushing Attack Could Control Time of Possession
As it typically goes for the elite quarterbacks in the NFL, sometimes the best defense against them is controlling the time of possession on the offensive side of the ball. There is currently weather concerns for Sunday with rain expected in the forecast.
If it does rain, that plays right into the Ravens’ hands with their ability to pound the rock. With Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, and Jackson, Baltimore can impose their will early in this game.
To no one’s surprise, the Ravens lead the NFL in rushing with 223.5 yards per game. The second-best rushing offense in the NFL is the Indianapolis Colts with 185 yards per game (for comparison). Keeping Mahomes on the sideline as much as possible is one way to win this game.
1. Lamar Jackson Is the Truth
Coming into this game, everyone has raved about Mahomes and how he is the better quarterback in this matchup. That may be factual but Jackson has been just as good, if not better than Mahomes this season.
What makes Jackson so difficult to defend is his improved ability to stretch the field with his arm. Along with his passing, the Ravens quarterback can still create something out of nothing with his legs (as he did in 2018).
The Louisville product has aired it out for 596 yards and seven scores with no turnovers in two games this year. At the same time, he has added another 126 yards on plays that he has tucked the ball and ran. Mahomes is a once-in-a-lifetime talent but Jackson will prove on Sunday that he can be a star in this league as well.