What can the Chiefs expect from the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday’s NFL Game? A versatile quarterback in Lamar Jackson, a hard-nosed running game and a defense that attacks from several points, for starters.
The Ravens’ scheme
Super Bowl-winning coach John Harbaugh got the Ravens back to the playoffs in 2018 after a three-year absence. Baltimore won the AFC North and looks like the class of the division this season. The Ravens have their defensive groove back, ranking first in the NFL in yards allowed and second in points allowed. Harbaugh was an Andy Reid assistant in Philadelphia for nine seasons. He’s the third coach in the history of the franchise that started in 1996 ... and the winningest one, too, with a career record of 106-72.
Last year’s Chiefs game was Lamar Jackson’s fourth NFL start and it remains his only regular-season loss in nine career starts. His career winning percentage as a starter (88.9) tops Patrick Mahomes’ (78.9). Baltimore rushed for 194 yards against the Chiefs in 2018, with Jackson collecting 67. In two games this season, Jackson has thrown for seven touchdowns, as many as Patrick Mahomes, and owns an NFL-leading 145.2 passer rating. There are weapons around Jackson, too. Running back Mark Ingram is averaging 5.7 yards per carry and tight end Mark Andrews has the first two 100-yard games of his career this season. Speedy wide receiver Marquise Brown is averaging 19.4 per reception. It was quite an offense at Oklahoma in 2017, with Andrew, Brown and Baker Mayfield, plus Kyler Murray on deck.
The Chiefs have scored at least 26 points in 20 straight games, something no other NFL team has accomplished. The closest the Chiefs came to scoring less than 26 during this run was against the Ravens last year. They needed overtime for a 27-24 victory. Baltimore’s defense is historically rugged and the Ravens have surrendered a total of 27 points to the Dolphins and Cardinals in weeks 1 and 2. Look for Baltimore to bring extra pressure Sunday — a fifth pass rusher — against the Chiefs. The Ravens disguise it well and Mahomes, who has been sacked only twice and hasn’t thrown an interception, figures to see more pressure this week than either of the first two. The Ravens sacked Mahomes three times last season. Only the Cardinals (five) had more sacks against the Chiefs.