The Kansas City Chiefs started the season with an exciting win last week against the Cleveland Browns. Despite some serious adversary and a fantastic performance by Baker Mayfield and crew, the Chiefs started the season with a win.
The Kansas City Chiefs get back some vital pieces of the team this week in Tyrann Mathieu and Frank Clark. They also get a matchup against a much easier opponent this weekend in the Baltimore Ravens. With everything working together, the Chiefs look like they have an easy path to 2-0.
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However, they still have to take care of business. You do not beat opponents by just being better than them on paper.
So we are breaking down how exactly they will beat the Baltimore Ravens.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs’ close week one has already been mentioned. The reasons that the game got that close is pretty obvious.
Kansas City went into their game with the Browns with over a quarter of their allocated cap space on the sideline. Tyrann Mathieu had contracted Covid during the week, and despite being cleared to play on Saturday, his lack of practice moved the coaches and training staff to keep him inactive for the day. Frank Clark had a hamstring injury flair up which also kept him on the sideline.
Without the leadership of Mathieu and the threatening presence of Frank Clark, the defense appeared lost and got dominated. The Browns’ offense just continued to find the Chiefs’ player that was inevitably out of position and found success.
However, not everything was negative, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
Tyreek Hill had over 200 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown. Travis Kelce had two red-zone touchdowns. Of course, Patrick Mahomes had a fantastic game, tossing for over 300 yards with 75% completion.
The Ravens also had a close game in week one. Unfortunately for them, however, is that they were on the losing end of that game.
The Ravens have been extremely unlucky this season in terms of injuries. Injuries to JK. Dobbins, Justice Hill, and Gus Edwards have left their running back depth thin. Marcus Peters held the defense together, and after a torn ACL, the defense has unraveled. Derek Wolfe is out. Marquise Brown is questionable. Ronnie Staley is questionable. Marlon Humphrey is playing hurt.
Even with the injuries, the Ravens should have won their Monday night clash with the Raiders. However, mistakes were plentiful and costly. Specifically, many of those mistakes were made by Lamar Jackson.
Lamar Jackson has three fumbles, of which he lost two. Over a fifth of his passes were considered “Bad passes”. Despite only two dropped passes, Jackson barely had 60% completion. He only found Mark Andrews, a top-four tight end in the league, for 20 yards. All of this against a Las Vegas defense that is mediocre at best.
It was not all terrible for the Ravens and Lamar Jackson. Lamar ran for about eight yards per carry. Sammy Watkins popped off for just under one hundred yards receiving. The Ravens’ defense grabbed a should-have-been clutch interception on the goal line.
Kansas City Chiefs O vs. Baltimore Ravens D
With the injuries that the Baltimore Ravens have in the secondary, fantasy owners with Chiefs’ receivers will be rejoicing.
Darren Waller slashed the Ravens last week for 105 yards. The Baltimore defense was just incapable of stopping the big tight end. He was unable to get many yards after the catch because of that, but the 65 yards before the catch was enough for him to have a good night on. Waller is a top ten tight end, but he is not in the elite level that Travis Kelce is.
Travis Kelce typically does pretty well against the Ravens, but the Ravens without Marcus Peters should be even easier for Kelce.
Further, the Ravens struggled to stop the receivers of Las Vegas. Bryan Edwards grabbed 81 yards. Hunter Renfroe had 70. Zay Jones and Henry Ruggs III were both at 46 apiece. Even Kenyan Drake, the Raiders second running back, got in on the action with 59 yards receiving.
A rotation of Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, and some of the other rotational receivers have the potential to do much more damage.
Finally, Josh Jacobs, although injured and only grabbing 3.4 yards a carry, found success in the red zone. His two touchdowns both came from the shadow of the goal post and came right up the middle of the line.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been struggling to be successful in the NFL, but this is a potential multi-touchdown opportunity for him.
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Kansas City Chiefs D vs. Baltimore Ravens O
The Ravens are going into this game without a starting left tackle. Against a team with Frank Clark and Chris Jones. This will not end well for Lamar Jackson.
Especially after week one, where Lamar Jackson was sacked three times. All while their starting left tackle was still healthy. Maxx Crosby asserted his dominance and made his presence felt. Worse yet, Lamar Jackson was pressured on 23% of dropbacks, despite the fact that the Raiders only blitzed three times.
Chris Jones has shown in the pre-season and during week one that he is excellent at defensive end. Frank Clark is in a “prove it” year and will try to show out. Steve Spagnuolo never stops blitzing. Lamar Jackson may be sacked five or six times.
The Ravens’ major hope for this game will be Lamar Jackson running the ball. The problem with that is that the Chiefs have multiple players who specialize in limiting that. Nick Bolton’s on the speed field makes him a great choice for QB Spy. Tyrann Mathieu has the patience and knowledge to make Jackson hesitate for running up the middle.
How did things fall so fast for Baltimore?
The Keys to Victory For The Kansas City Chiefs
Like said above, the Chiefs just have to take care of business to win. However, if they can secure a few things, it will not even be close.
1: Single Back, Shotgun Formation. Every Play.
The Ravens know that they can be beaten a dozen different ways in this game. Make all of those weapons available every time. Keep the Ravens’ defense completely off balance. What do you defend with your limited resources if Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire are all on the field?
2: Push The Pace
Communication will be extremely important for a Ravens’ defense that is inexperienced and depleted. Plus, the Ravens will need rotation to help keep those depth players from getting gassed and further injured. So if you keep rushing down the field and getting plays off as soon as possible, the Ravens sideline will be unable to assist their defense.
3: Rotate Nick Bolton And Tyrann Mathieu On Blitz
Nick Bolton and Tyrann Mathieu should share responsibilities tracking Lamar Jackson, in case he runs. When one of those two is watching Jackson from the box, the other one should be sent to blitz. Make Lamar guess which player is coming. Keep him second-guessing and uncertain pre-snap and he will make mistakes.
4: Get the Energy Up Early
The Chiefs’ defense is at its best when the players are bouncing around and being energetic. Capture that energy early. Send the zero coverage early to grab a sack. Force Jackson to make an early mistake under pressure. Give those defensive players the jump start they need, and they will take care of business the rest of the night.
5: Be Aggresive
Score as many points as possible. Go for it on fourth and under five yards in opposition territory. Keep passing down the field. Keep blitzing. The Ravens are very unlikely to win this game, but that little hope they have is in Reid’s rampant conservative mindset when he is coaching. Take that away from them. The Chiefs are the best team in the AFC, and potentially the league. Prove it.