It’s Patrick Mahomes vs. Lamar Jackson, Round III. Here’s how the Baltimore Ravens can secure their first victory over the Kansas City Chiefs since 2012.
This past weekend of NFL action was disastrous and injury-riddled, which in turn left a bad taste in the mouths of fans everywhere. Luckily, Week 3 is just around the corner. While we’ve mostly seen advertisements of the Sunday Night Football matchup between Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers, we’re here to remind you that Monday night will feature Patrick Mahomes vs. Lamar Jackson, Round III.
The first two matchups have gone in the favor of Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, including a 27-24 overtime victory in 2018 and a 33-28 win last year. If Jackson wants to make this a rivalry akin to the Tom Brady-Peyton Manning matchups in years past, he needs to pick up the victory this Monday night. And to be quite honest, the Baltimore Ravens have a great chance of doing so. Here are three ways Baltimore can secure the “W.”
Stop Kansas City’s ground attack
The Chiefs had one of the best offenses in the league last year, but then they were able to add Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft to make their squad virtually unfair for opposing defenses. We saw just how good the rookie out of LSU performed against the Houston Texans in the season opener (138 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries). Even though Edwards-Helaire did fall back to reality last week (38 yards on 10 carries) against the Los Angeles Chargers, Mahomes was able to pick up the slack by rushing for 54 yards on six carries.
If you look at Baltimore’s rush defense, they have allowed the seventh-fewest rushing yards in the entire league (189). They have the potential to completely shut down Kansas City’s rush attack. Just look at what they did to the Texans in Week 2. They limited David Johnson and quarterback Deshaun Watson to 51 yards total. All Baltimore has to do is follow that same game plan as last week and they can eliminate one facet of Kansas City’s offense for good.
Utilize Mark Andrews often
A tight end is always a quarterback’s best friend. They’re their old reliable security blanket that they can target down the middle of the field. But when it comes to that position, they perform well against the Chiefs defense. In Week 1, Texans tight end Jordan Akins and David Fells caught all four combined targets for 48 yards and a touchdown. Last week, Kansas City allowed Hunter Henry of the Chargers to catch 6-of-8 targets for 83 yards.
If those stat-lines are anything to go by, it’s that the Ravens should target Mark Andrews often. If they do so, the entire offense will be able to open up on Monday evening.
Run. The. Ball.
Baltimore’s bread and butter is the ground game. They have a luxury of options to run the rock with. Jackson, Mark Ingram II, Gus Edwards and JK Dobbins are all lethal threats behind the line of scrimmage. And luckily for them, they play a Chiefs defense that allowed 301 rushing yards in the first two weeks, which is the sixth-most in the NFL. The Chiefs surrendered 77 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries by David Johnson in Week 1, whom the Ravens limited to 34 yards on 11 carries in Week 2. Then, Kansas City allowed 157 yards on 39 combined carries by Austin Ekeler and Joshua Kelley this past Sunday.
You can expect offensive coordinator Don Martindale to draw up plenty of rushing plays for the big Monday night showdown. The more Baltimore runs, the more likely they’ll beat the Chiefs. It’s that simple.