The Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens will look to keep the other team’s offense off the field as much as possible on Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium. Possession time will be a key statistic in this battle.
Keys to victory
1. Control the clock
Both teams are 2-0 and in each victory the winner won time of possession. The Ravens have dominated this statistics, keeping the ball for more than 40 minutes in their opener against the Dolphins and more than 37 minutes against the Cardinals. The reason is simple. The less Lamar Jackson is on the field, the better for the Chiefs. Ditto for the Ravens and Patrick Mahomes.
2. Keep Lamar Jackson in sight at all times
Jackson’s ability to escape and to damage with his legs is a threat not many quarterbacks possess. It’s vital that the Chiefs keep tabs on him, perhaps with a defender serving as a spy. Unlike quarterbacks whose scrambling range is limited to a north/south direction, Jackson uses the entire field, increasing the pressure on a defense.
3. Be deceptive
Tyreek Hill was big against the Ravens last season with eight receptions for 139 yards, including a 41-yarder late to set up the game-tying touchdown. But Hill remains out with an injury. Look for Mecole Hardman to step up and become the man-in-motion guy who gives the Ravens’ defense a moment of hesitation.
4. Let Arrowhead do its thing
Andy Reid never misses an opportunity to praise the home crowd, and he’s sincere about it. Noise can be a factor. Jackson has lost only one regular-season game in his nine NFL starts, at Arrowhead last season. The crowd can help send that record to 0-2.