Two of the finest teams in the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens, meet at M&T Bank Stadium for the third edition of Monday Night Football. I’ve been looking forward to this matchup for a while now, and many see this game as potentially being a Game of the Year candidate. Hopefully it lives up to expectations and we get an entertaining showdown. When Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes are on the field in the same game, it’s a must-watch event.
Mahomes is the winner in the first two games against Lamar Jackson. It’s the first meetings of many between these two electric playmakers. The Chiefs were 27-24 winners in overtime in 2018, and then they came out on top again last season, 33-28. Mahomes torched the Baltimore defense for 374 yards and 3 touchdowns in that contest.
The Ravens’ defense was good, but they had no answers for him. Mecole Hardman was Mahomes’ favorite target that day, as Hardman went for 97 yards and a score. With slot corner Tavon Young done for the season, Hardman might be in for another big evening. Travis Kelce also had a good day with 89 yards on 7 receptions, as he mostly worked the middle of the field and found some soft spots. We have you covered with our selection on the Over Under, and if you want even more picks, check out the KC Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens props picks below.
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Ravens. Chiefs. Soon 🍿 pic.twitter.com/i8RQzB8qs6
— ESPN (@espn) September 28, 2020
Travis Kelce Receptions
As I stated above, the Ravens are going to be down slot corner Tavon Young on Monday night and for the duration of the rest of the season. The Ravens are going to be forced to experiment against a high-octane Chiefs’ offense on Monday night football. Other than Young, the Ravens are healthy, but he’s the most underrated piece of their defensive unit. If Mahomes wants to work the middle of the field, he’s likely going to have success.
Kelce is a matchup nightmare in the slot for any defense in the NFL. He can do just about everything in the route tree and is a massive target for Mahomes. I’m expecting Mahomes to utilize Kelce plenty in this game. The Ravens love to bring pressure, and Mahomes knows the perfect way to counteract a team that blitzes with great frequency. Kelce is one of the best weapons to have in an offence against a team that pressures the quarterback.
He caught 7 receptions for 89 yards against the Ravens last year. Through two games in 2020, Kelce has already registered 15 receptions and 140 yards with 2 touchdowns. Kelce hauled in 9 receptions for 90 yards against the Chargers last week. Expect him to play a big role in the Chiefs’ offensive game plan to counter an aggressive Ravens’ defense. That should include more than 6 receptions.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire REceptions
Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the first running back off the board in the 2020 draft and is fitting in right away with the Chiefs. He was the perfect addition to this already dangerous offense. They didn’t need even more firepower to add to their arsenal. Do-it-all running backs are the most coveted in the NFL these days.
A running back that is a dangerous pass-catcher is a serious asset for teams. Edwards-Helaire has the talent to pound the ball within the tackles, or catch a ball off a screen and run upfield. He hauled in 6 receptions for 32 yards against the Chargers last week.
Edwards-Helaire wasn’t used in the passing game in his debut, but the Chiefs didn’t have to do anything too tricky against a bad Texans’ defense. They kept things simple, but had to try some different angles of attack against a better Chargers’ defense the following week.
A way to offset an aggressive pass rush is to use running backs in the passing game. Quick passes out to the running back are a good method to get the ball out in space before the quarterback feels pressure. Similar to quick connections to Kelce, expect Mahomes to target Edwards-Helaire plenty as well.
Marquise Brown Receiving Yards
The Ravens were able to keep things simple against the Houston Texans last week. In the process, they still scored 33 points in a 33-16 win. Marquise Brown led the Ravens in the passing game with 42 yards on 5 receptions. In Week 1, Brown was the primary target for Jackson once again, as he caught 5 receptions for 101 yards against the Cleveland Browns.
With the high-powered Chiefs on the docket Monday night, Jackson will likely have to do more than just hand the ball off to his running backs. This is where Brown is going to be used to stretch the field downfield. The speedy Brown is sure to come up with a big play or two on the Chiefs’ secondary on Monday night. Expect at least 60 yards for Brown against the Chiefs in this matchup.