In a game that many people speculate has Game of the Year potential, the Baltimore Ravens welcome the defending Super Bowl champs to M&T Bank Stadium for Monday Night Football. After Patrick Mahomes won the first Super Bowl of his career last season in Miami, there is a lot of support behind Lamar Jackson getting the job done next.
These are two phenomenal quarterbacks that are the poster boys for the modern NFL. The Drew Brees and Tom Brady era in the NFL is drawing to a close soon, while Mahomes and Jackson are just getting started in their rivalry.
Peyton Manning, Brees, and Brady are always mentioned in the same conversation for the sake of comparison purposes. Years from now the same debates will take place between Mahomes and Jackson. Monday night marks the third meeting between the young signal callers.
The first in 2018 was close as was the second in 2019. The Chiefs were winners in both instances by scores of 27-24 and 33-28. They exploded in the second quarter for 23 points last season to erase a 6-0 deficit in the first. That’s the case with both of these offenses.
Just when you think they’re held in check, the Chiefs and Ravens have the potential to explode when it looks like all is going well for the defense. The Ravens are coming off a 33-16 win over the Texans in Houston. The Texans’ offensive line was absolutely useless and the Ravens took advantage.
With the offensive line getting destroyed, the Ravens didn’t need to do anything too exotic offensively. They were in complete control of the game from the opening kickoff. If the Ravens wanted to score more points in that one, they could have. However, there was no need for it with Deshaun Watson running for his life. That might be a different story on Monday night with Mahomes on the other side.
The Chiefs slept walk through their Week 2 matchup against the LA Chargers in California last week. They just about lost to rookie Justin Herbert, who found out moments before the game that he’d be starting in place of Tyrod Taylor. The Chiefs may have taken Herbert likely, and that very well could have been a lookahead situation to Monday night. Head below for our free KC Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens pick for September 28, 2020 on Monday Night Football.
KC Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens NFL Betting Odds:
KC Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens Prediction:
The game within the game is going to decide the outcome of the Chiefs and Ravens on Monday night. Specifically, I mean the Chiefs’ offensive line against the Ravens’ defense. If the Chiefs can protect Patrick Mahomes well he’s going to be in for a big game.
The Texans had no answers for the Ravens’ defense, but that looks like one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL. Baltimore will have to be successful with their blitz against Mahomes on Monday night. If not, the absence of Tavon Young on the field as the slot corner is going to prove to be a storyline for four quarters.
Young is out for the season with a season-ending knee injury. There is never the right time for an injury, but it’s particularly difficult losing him right before the Chiefs game. The Chiefs are one of the best in the NFL at getting the most out of their slot receivers, and in the case of Travis Kelce, the tight end.
Kecle regularly lines up out of the slot to provide mismatches across the middle of the field. The Ravens will have to get creative defensively without Young present. The good news is that Marlon Humphrey has experience covering receivers out of the slot. Tyreek Hill will likely still have a tough matchup, but I do foresee a big game for Kelce and perhaps Mecole Hardman as an x-factor.
The Ravens are going to unload pressure on Mahomes with the blitz. However, Mahomes quick twitch passes with velocity is a good way of neutralizing that on slants across the middle of the field. The Chiefs are one of the best in the league at finding success with that offensive approach. After a slow day in Los Angeles, look for the Chiefs’ offense to play better tonight.
The Chiefs’ defense has been average through two weeks. They gave up 20 points in Week 1 against the Texans, and then another 20 against the Chargers last week. With the offensive line concerns for the Texans, and the Chiefs up against a rookie quarterback last week, I can’t say conceding 20 points was too great versus those opponents.
Herbert threw for 311 yards with a touchdown and interception. He also ran for the ball for 18 yards and a score. The Ravens throttled the Browns’ defense for 38 points in Week 1 and 33 in Week 2 against the Texans. This is the most complete offense that the NFL has to offer in 2020. Along with Jackson’s duel-threat ability, the Ravens have a host of talented running backs to throw on the field.
I suspect that Lamar is going to be motivated in this one after losing to the Chiefs the last two years. He believes his time is now, but Mahomes is not going to go away quietly. Look for Mahomes to exploit the absence of slot corner Tavon Young here. Expect a classic Monday Night Football shootout, with a final score in the ballpark of 34-31 or 35-28.