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Final Picks for Ravens-Chiefs AFC Championship



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Stephania Bell
Matt Bowen
Mike Clay
Jeremy Fowler
Dan Graziano
Eric Moody
Jason Reid
Lindsey Thiry
Seth Wickersham


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Childs Walker
Ravens 30, Chiefs 24 “The Ravens have been better than the Chiefs this year. They have more ways to win and in Lamar Jackson, a superstar who seems ready to come into his own as a true rival to Patrick Mahomes. No one blows out the Chiefs, however, and no lead will ever feel safe against Mahomes. The quarterbacks will headline, but this game could just as easily come down to the defenses. Kansas City will pressure Jackson and make it difficult for him to move the ball in chunks. But the Ravens were just as stingy against big plays and much better at creating takeaways. They will disturb Mahomes just enough to pull out a tense win.”
Brian Whacker
Chiefs 24, Ravens 23 “The Ravens are the better team, but Kansas City has what Baltimore does not: Quarterback Patrick Mahomes. As good as Lamar Jackson has been for the Ravens — he should be the NFL Most Valuable Player — this is new territory for him and old hat for Mahomes, who is playing in his sixth straight AFC Championship Game. The Ravens’ defense has also been vulnerable against strong running backs, which Isiah Pacheco certainly qualifies as, and can struggle at times defending passes over the middle. The key for Baltimore will be getting Mahomes off his first read, muddying the picture in the secondary and applying pressure up the middle and/or on the edge without losing contain. Those are all things the Ravens do well, but expect Mahomes to stay patient and make a play when he has to. This one will come down to the end.”
C.J. Doon
Ravens 27, Chiefs 20 “Facing Patrick Mahomes and an elite defense is the toughest test yet for this Ravens team, but even that won’t be enough to derail what’s shaping up to be a dream season. When he avoids turnovers, Lamar Jackson is pretty much unbeatable, even against a terrific defensive coordinator like Steve Spagnuolo. Mahomes can single-handedly keep the Chiefs in the game with his ability to extend plays, but his receivers are simply not good enough to go toe-to-toe with this Ravens defense. Travis Kelce, at age 34, isn’t the dominant force he used to be. On top of that, Kansas City is dealing with a long list of injuries and will likely be without All-Pro guard Joe Thuney. Justin Madubuike and Jadeveon Clowney should dominate, which will frustrate Mahomes and lead to mistakes. It’s hard to envision the Chiefs getting blown out as long as Mahomes is healthy, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the Ravens win comfortably.”
Tim Schwartz
Ravens 30, Chiefs 24 “It’s destiny, right? Baltimore has checked every box this season and dominated the NFL’s best — just look at what it did to the teams playing in the NFC title game. The Chiefs are the best team they’ll face, so why not knock them off, too? Lamar Jackson has been as even-keeled as any player can possibly be this season and seems ready to capture the moment. But it certainly won’t be easy against a stout Kansas City defense. I like the Ravens’ defense matching up against Patrick Mahomes and his receivers. There is nobody quite like Kyle Hamilton, who can guard Travis Kelce and do a little bit of everything else, too. The Ravens are Super Bowl bound.”


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Safid Deen
Ravens 30, Chiefs 28
Tyler Dragon
Ravens 24, Chiefs 23
Victoria Hernandez
Ravens 28, Chiefs 23
Lorenzo Reyes
Ravens 26, Chiefs 19

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Ali Bhanpuri
Chiefs 23, Ravens 20
Brooke Cersosimo
Ravens 26, Chiefs 24 “This game will be dictated by these two all-world quarterbacks, but the defense that makes the most plays — and wins the turnover battle — will have earned a trip to The Strip. Based on what I've seen from Baltimore's D over the last month-plus, I can't not lean the Ravens' way.”
Dan Parr
Ravens 24, Chiefs 21
Gennaro Filice
Ravens 24, Chiefs 20
Tom Blair
Ravens 24, Chiefs 20


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Pundit Projected Winner Commentary
Adam Rank
Chiefs 23, Ravens 20 (OT)
Colleen Wolfe
Ravens 24, Chiefs 20
Marcas Grant
Ravens 27, Chiefs 21
Maurice Jones-Drew
Ravens 24, Chiefs 21 (OT)
Daniel Jeremiah
Ravens 28, Chiefs 26
Nick Shook
Ravens 30, Chiefs 20
Kevin Patra
Ravens 26, Chiefs 20
Marc Sessler
Ravens 36, Chiefs 35
Grant Gordon
Chiefs 24, Ravens 23
Eric Edholm
Chiefs 24, Ravens 21


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Vinnie Iyer
Chiefs 30, Ravens 27 “The Ravens will play well. The Chiefs will play well. This will be a classic duel between Mahomes and Jackson, much like we've seen with Mahomes vs. Tom Brady, Joe Burrow, and Josh Allen. The quarterbacks, offenses, defenses, special teams, and coaches all are positioned to lead either team to victory. In the end, the Chiefs are still alive in the playoffs because of Mahomes, and it's difficult to go against him in any such monumental matchup.”


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Pete Prisco
Chiefs 28, Ravens 26 “Look for both quarterbacks to play well, but I think the postseason experience for Mahomes will shine through. Look for the Chiefs to advance to another Super Bowl as Mahomes has some late-game magic to win it.”
John Breech
Ravens 23, Chiefs 20 “This game will mark just the second time in Mahomes' career that he's started a playoff game on the road. Although he won last week in Buffalo, he'll now be heading to Baltimore, where things will likely be much crazier and Mahomes KNOWS that. The Chiefs QB recently admitted that Baltimore is one of only two stadiums that he's played in where the crowd got so loud that he couldn't communicate with his offensive line. It feels like crowd noise could actually be a factor, which isn't something that Mahomes usually has to deal with. I don't want to pick against Patrick Mahomes in this game and I don't want to pick against Lamar Jackson, but I have to pick against one of them and I had a really tasty crab cake for lunch, so I'm going with … Ravens.”


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Mike Florio
Chiefs 30, Ravens 27 “We’re witnessing history with Patrick Mahomes. Six straight AFC Championships. Three Super Bowl appearances. For the first time, they’ll play for a Super Bowl berth on the road. Mahomes is very aware of his legacy, and of his competition with Tom Brady for career championships. While the Ravens are good enough to win, the Chiefs have a knack for keeping games like this close — and ultimately stealing them. Besides, I picked the Chiefs to make the Super Bowl before the season started. I can’t bail on them now.”
Chris Simms
Ravens 24, Chiefs 20 “I think the Ravens [have been on a [mission all year, one of the best teams we’ve seen all year. I think they’re the one team that can stop this Chiefs magic.”


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Albert Breer
Claire Kuwana
Gilberto Manzano
John Pluym
Connor Orr
Matt Verderame

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