In a game that probably should have been flexed to Sunday Night Football, the Baltimore Ravens are in Kansas City for a meeting with the high-octane Chiefs. It’s the best defense against the best offense in the NFL. They say defense travels, well, the Ravens are going to need every bit of defense to be in KC on Sunday. They are going to need it to counter Patrick Mahomes and their dynamic offense.
I would have liked to see the best defense against the best offense in the primetime spot, but the Rams and Bears look pretty good as well. The Chiefs go into Sunday with a record of 10-2 and a perfect 5-0 record at home. They haven’t been slowed down by anyone yet, so we’ll see if the Ravens can go into a hostile environment and showcase their defense.
Of all teams, the Cardinals held them to their lowest point total on the season with 26 points. This was a week before playing the LA Rams, so don’t look too far into it. They were already preparing for the Rams and surely overlooked Arizona. It worked out pretty well for them, offensively at least, as they scored 51 points against the Rams but still lost 54-51. That’s going to be tough to match against a defense like Baltimore, but this should make for an entertaining contest all the same.
The Chiefs will go about this game and the future without Kareem Hunt. Hunt was released quickly, putting Spencer Ware in the driver seat as the starting runner in Kansas City. I don’t know if there’s going to be a noticeable drop off without Hunt. This offense runs through Mahomes and he still has a lot of talent to work with around him.
No Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill and then we can start talking about the Chiefs’ offense in trouble. This is a big game for the 7-5 Ravens, who are going to have it tough to the finish line in the postseason race. They are currently in possession of the final wildcard in the AFC, with a 7-6 Titans team and three 6 wins team in the hunt behind them. Baltimore are coming off an impressive 26-16 showing in Atlanta last week. Head below for our free Ravens vs. Chiefs pick.
Baltimore Ravens vs. K.C. Chiefs NFL Week 14 Betting Odds:
vs. Chiefs -6.5(-115)
Betting odds provided by Sportsbetting.ag
Ravens vs. Chiefs Pick:
The quarterback matchup in this game looks like it would have been a dream in college. Lamar Jackson against Patrick Mahomes would produce a total in the high 80’s if this were Louisville vs. Texas Tech. Considering how bad that Texas Tech defense was, it’d probably flirt with 90. Mahomes has had to deal with another bad defense in the NFL, but at least they can make a tackle here and there.
Despite the monster numbers he put up in college, he never found success with the Red Raiders because of the bad defense. Will Mahomes fall victim to being on a team with a bad defense again? I expect the Chiefs to address their defensive concerns for the future, so he will likely have some help coming in that respect. However, it’s unlikely to happen for this run in 2018.
The Chiefs’ defense has allowed 417 yards allowed per game for 31st in the league. They are last against the pass by a long shot, with 295 yards allowed per game. That’s going to be the opening for the Ravens. If Jackson can get into a rhythm, the Ravens are going to have a chance at the upset.
It’s been a very beatable defense, and with Jackson getting more comfortable in the offense, there will be opportunities for the Ravens to put up points. His ability to run makes it a tricky offense to prepare for, especially a bad defense. He has already rushed for 404 yards and 3 touchdowns, and only been the starter for three weeks.
The Ravens have allowed only 194.4 passing yards per game. They’ve also shown the ability to stop the run, with just 87.2 yards allowed per game. It isn’t like this is the 2000 Ravens, though. The Panthers scored 36 points on them in Carolina this season. They haven’t seen an offense quite as dynamic as the Chiefs, too.
KC have racked up 37 points per game, 1st in the NFL. That’s cancelled out the 27.2 points per game surrendered in 2018. If this were a decade ago, I’d have my money on defense over offense. However, the league is built for teams like the Chiefs to light up the scoreboard. It won’t be as easy as they’ve found in prior games, but expect Mahomes not to be bothered at Arrowhead. Baltimore will get stops, just not enough to keep the Chiefs’ offense limited. I think we will likely see enough points on the board to put this one OVER the total.