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Free Pick: Kansas City at Baltimore 9/19/21
Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Free Pick: Kansas City at Baltimore 9/19/21

Kansas City had a stiff challenge from the Cleveland Browns and prevailed 33-29 in a fantastic game. They made enough plays and took advantage of some mistakes by Cleveland to get the victory and they will roll into Baltimore for their first road game. The Ravens lost Monday night on the west coast against Las Vegas and will have a short turnaround in their preparation. And, when you are playing the Chiefs, you need all the time and preparation you can get. The Ravens loss has taken some of the luster off of this Sunday night game, but there still is a lot of interest in this one. Let’s break it down.

Offense: It won’t take too long to discuss the Kansas City offense. They have the two best players in the league with Patrick Mahomes and tight end, Travis Kelce. Then, you throw in Tyreek Hill with his speed, and defenses have their hands full. Mahomes completed 27 out of 36 passes for 337 yards and three touchdowns. Hill caught 11 passes (including a 75 yarder) for 189 yards and Kelce had 6 catches for 76 yards and 2 touchdowns. The one concern for the Chiefs’ offense is the running game. They only ran for 73 yards and that is something that they will look to improve on. Baltimore lives and dies with quarterback, Lamar Jackson. He was 19 out of 30 for 235 yards and a touchdown and led the Ravens in rushing with 86 yards on 12 carries. But, he also had two costly fumbles. They gained and impressive 189 yards on the ground and the Chiefs struggled last week stopping the run. Former Chief, Sammy Watkins caught 4 passes for 96 yards and Marquise Brown added 6 catches for 69 yards and a touchdown. Advantage: Kansas City

Defense: The Kansas City defense was gashed for 474 total yards with 153 of those coming on the ground. L’Jarius Sneed, Juan Thornhill, and Nick Bolton all had 7 tackles apiece. Defensive lineman, Chris Jones was the star of the defense, as he had 2 sacks and 2 quarterback hits, with the last one causing Baker Mayfield to throw an interception that iced the game. They do have to receive a lot of credit for playing much better in the 2nd half and coming up with 2 big turnovers. Defensively, these aren’t the Ravens of old as they gave up 517 yards against the Raiders, including 435 passing yards. They did play pretty well against the run and sacked the quarterback three times. But the stats show that their defense is leaky and that doesn’t bode well for this week. Advantage: Neither

In summing up any game involving the Chiefs there are two things to consider. Can the opponent score enough to keep up with Kansas City’s offense? The Chiefs are going to score points and the other team has to have the ability to keep up. The other thing to consider is the opponent’s defense. Do they have a pass rush that can get to Mahomes and put pressure on him? To beat the Chiefs, you have to make him uncomfortable and then keep him contained in the pocket. That is easier said than done. The Chiefs come in as a 3.5 favorite.


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