The Kansas City Chiefs travel for the second-straight week when they battle the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, on Monday night football at 8:20 pm EST. The Chiefs were only happy to leave Los Angeles with a victory in week-two as they got three huge field goals from Harrison Butker, including a fifty-eight yarder in overtime to seal the victory. The Ravens, on the other hand, had little problems in taking out the Houston Texans on the road as both the offense and defense participated in tacking on points to the scoreboard in a 33-16 win.
The Chiefs and Ravens have met three times since 2015 with the former taking the win (SU) in all three, including a 34-14 victory at M&T in 2015 as 6.5 point favorites. Important to note that the Chiefs have covered in three of their last four meetings, overall, yet the Ravens have covered the points in two of their last three meetings in Baltimore. Currently, the line favors the Ravens by 3.5 points while the total stands at fifty-four points.
Ravens rushing attack dominate TexansWhile the Ravens possess only the 25th ranked passing game in the NFL, their three-headed rushing trio of quarterback Lamar Jackson, running backs Gus Edwards and Mark Ingram II has catapulted the running game into 4th-place in the league. Baltimore's trio combined for 182 yards versus Houston while putting up 232 total in the 17-point road win. Jackson threw for only two-hundred and four yards and a score, however, the signal-caller continued to keep Houston's defense off-balance with his ability to make plays with his arms and legs. He will certainly need to continue his duel-threat play against the Chiefs as Kansas City will certainly put some points on the board.
Important to note that Marquise Brown leads the team with ten catches for one-hundred and forty-three yards; However, he has not caught a touchdown pass this season. Miles Boykin is currently behind Brown in total yards with seven catches for seventy-five yards. They will now match up with a Chiefs team that has certainly given up a healthy amount of yards both on the ground as well as through the air this season, thus ranking them in the bottom of the league in defending both areas. The offensive line may be shorthanded with tackle Ronnie Stanley possibly being out of the lineup due to an ankle injury.
The Ravens defense has also kept offenses neutralized in 2020 as they rank in the top ten in opponents yards allowed per game (305 ypg), passing yards allowed (210 ypg), rushing yards (95 ypg), points scored per game (11 ppg), and takeaways (5) after two weeks of play. The unit racked up four sacks versus the Texans with Calais Campbell, Deshon Elliot, and Tyus Bowser each having a full sack. Also, cornerback Marcus Peters caught his first pick of the year so the defense will certainly enter this contest with a ton of confidence. However, the Chiefs have Pat Mahomes in the pocket while the team also possesses the eighth-ranked rushing attack in the NFL.
Kansas City needs to clean up the penaltiesThe Chiefs took out the Texans in week-one in dominant fashion as Mahomes threw for three touchdowns while rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 138 yards, ending with a per yard average of over ten yards per. Most importantly, the team committed only one penalty for the contest. Fast-forward to week two and the Chiefs were barely able to escape Los Angeles with a win thanks to their inability to prevent the Chargers from running the ball down their collective throats or from completing big passes down the field. Furthermore, Kansas City committed a whopping eleven penalties for a total of ninety yards in the three-point overtime win.
YES TO ALL OF THIS 😤— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) September 24, 2020
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The Chiefs continue to get big performances from Mahomes via the air as well as on the ground, however, Edwards-Helaire will need to put up more production against the Ravens than his thirty-eight yards on ten touches in week-two. Expect Tyreek Hill along with Travis Kelce (combined for 14 catches for 189 yds, 2 TD vs Chargers) to look to make an impact versus a Ravens secondary that has not allowed much downfield in 2020. Wide receiver Sammy Watkins (8 catches, 93 yards, TD) is questionable for this contest with a head injury, however.
Again, the defense for the Chiefs has not played well entering this all-important contest with Baltimore. To make matters worse, defensive ends Alex Okafor along with Frank Clark are each questionable for Monday's matchup due to a hamstring injury as well as illness. Cornerback Antonio Hamilton is also questionable with a groin injury. To give themselves a chance in this contest, the Chiefs must win the battle upfront. This will be a difficult task, particularly considering how they have gotten pushed around up front thus far; However, the Chiefs are looking for a much better performance on this side of the ball after their debacle versus the Chargers last weekend.
Stats & Trends
- Chiefs are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games after accumulating more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Chiefs are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games after accumulating more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Chiefs are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 350 total yards in their previous game.
- Chiefs are 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 Monday games.
- Chiefs are 9-1-1 ATS in last 11 games
- Ravens are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing more than 250 yards passing in their previous game.
- Ravens are 6-11 in last 17 home games
With injuries/illnesses to skill players on both sides of the ball possibly leaving the Chiefs shorthanded, all signs point to the Ravens getting a huge home victory Monday night. In fact, the line has moved in favor of the Ravens since opening (2.5 to 3.5). However, Kansas City has played big games many times before and are used to tough road environments. And while they played less than stellar versus the Chargers in just about every way, expect the road team to be competitive versus Baltimore.
Jackson will put up some big numbers versus this Chiefs defense, however, Mahomes continues to be one of the most skilled and elusive quarterbacks in the NFL and will certainly utilize his weapons in the backfield as well as on the outside to keep pace throughout. The Ravens defense will be tested in this matchup, and I expect the Chiefs to make this tighter than we think.