Everything You Need to Know: Ravens vs. Chiefs

092019-Everything-You-Need-To-Know-at-Chiefs

Basics

Kickoff: 1 p.m., Arrowhead Stadium

TV: WJZ Channel 13 (Baltimore), CBS crew (Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts, Evan Washburn)

Radio: WBAL (1090AM/101.5 FM) & 98Rock (97.9 FM), Ravens crew (Gerry Sandusky, Jarret Johnson)

Jersey color: White

Stakes

A victory would make the Ravens 3-0 for the first time since 2016. The Chiefs have won nine straight games in September and will be playing their home opener after two road wins. Sunday’s outcome could impact AFC tiebreaker scenarios in December.

History

Kansas City holds a 5-3 edge in the all-time series, winning the last two. Last year’s meeting in Kansas City was a classic, with the Chiefs rallying to win, 27-24, in overtime. They converted twice on fourth down in the final minutes to send the game to overtime. Lamar Jackson threw for 147 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 67 yards on 14 carries. That loss has stuck with the Ravens.

Key Storylines

Does the Ravens’ defense have enough answers for Patrick Mahomes?

The Chiefs quarterback might be better than last season when he was the league’s MVP. He leads the NFL in passing yards and is coming off a 443-yard, four-touchdown performance against the Oakland Raiders. Mahomes can create something out of nothing, even when he’s pressured or when receivers are covered. If not for Mahomes’ late-game magic, the Ravens would have won in Kansas City last year. Mahomes will make plays, but the Ravens need to stop him in crucial moments.

How will the Ravens fare as underdogs for the first time this season?

This will be Kansas City’s home opener and Arrowhead is noisy under any circumstances. Take nothing away from the Ravens beating the Miami Dolphins and Arizona Cardinals, but Kansas City was 7-1 at home last season during the regular season. As a road team, you don’t come to Arrowhead and win unless you play very well. Dealing with the crowd noise will be an issue.

Can the Ravens’ offense keep the pressure on the Chiefs?

Baltimore is bringing a better offense to Kansas City this year, an improved Lamar Jackson surrounded by more playmakers. Jackson enters the game as the NFL’s highest-rated quarterback and the Ravens are attacking aggressively with new Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman as their play-caller. If the Ravens can’t contain Mahomes, they’ll need to score enough to win a shootout.

Key Matchups

OLB Matthew Judon vs. Chiefs LT Cam Erving

The Chiefs won’t have Pro Bowl left tackle Eric Fisher after he underwent groin surgery this week. Erving will start and he has a tough assignment in Judon, who’s off to a terrific start in a contract year with two sacks and five quarterback hits. Mahomes isn’t easy to sack, but consistent pressure on him would help the Ravens’ chances.

S Earl Thomas vs. Mahomes

Thomas had the quote of the week, saying “I plan to eliminate all the big plays.” The six-time Pro Bowl safety loves these moments, facing an elite quarterback willing to take chances. Mahomes hasn’t thrown an interception yet this season. Thomas hopes to change that.

WR Marquise Brown vs. Chiefs secondary

Averaging 19.4 yards per catch, Brown has added a big-play element to Baltimore’s offense as a rookie. He’s also displayed sure hands and a chemistry with Jackson that makes him comfortable targeting Brown in big spots. The Chiefs can strike quickly on offense, but with Brown, so can the Ravens.

Related Content

Advertising