On Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, everyone will be tuning in to watch the Baltimore Ravens face the Kansas City Chiefs. More specifically, all eyes will be on the quarterback matchup between Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes. Just don’t forget about Tyrann Mathieu.
In a game that should see a lot of offensive plays, it may come down to which defense makes a crucial stand. With this in mind, Tyrann Mathieu is the biggest X-Factor for the Chiefs in Week 3 against the Ravens.
Earlier in the year, Kansas City knew they had to make some changes in their secondary after they had the second-worst pass defense in 2018. During the free agency period, the Chiefs decided to shell out money to sign Mathieu.
Prior to arriving in Kansas City, Mathieu has already established himself as one of the best safeties in the NFL. The Chiefs new defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo, viewed him as a valuable piece for his defense.
The addition of Mathieu hasn’t exactly shown yet with the defense surrendering 262.5 passing yards in the first two weeks. Individually, the versatile safety has managed just five tackles in two games.
After facing the Jacksonville Jaguars and Oakland Raiders, the Chiefs will face a different beast with the Ravens offense in Week 3. Through two weeks, the Ravens—not the Chiefs—boast the best offense in the NFL.
Led by Lamar Jackson, Baltimore has bulldozed their way to a 2-0 record; outscoring their opponents 82-27. Jackson has began the season with 596 yards and seven touchdowns in the passing game.
Therefore, it will be up to Mathieu to make some plays to change the outlook of the game. On the offensive side of the ball, everyone knows that Mahomes and company are going to do their part. Andy Reid’s offense has scored 34 points per game so far this year.
The Ravens may have the better defense overall but that doesn’t mean Kansas City’s defense can’t step up and force Jackson into making mistakes. Along with Kendall Fuller, Mathieu is arguably the best playmaker on the Chiefs defense.
Neither team that has faced the Ravens has been able to force a turnover on Jackson or their offense. To secure a win at home, Mathieu is going to need to earn his contract this week versus Baltimore’s high-flying offense.