Should the Chiefs really be worried about playing the Ravens?

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs throws the ball during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on September 28, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - SEPTEMBER 28: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs throws the ball during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on September 28, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) /

The K.C. Chiefs have been the pinnacle of success in the AFC. They have hosted three straight AFC Championships, went to back to back Super Bowls, and emerged with a Lombardi once in the last three years. No fan of the NFL, whether casual or hardcore, can deny the Chiefs recent success. It seems every year, though, the Ravens are touted as the type of team that can dethrone Kansas City.

Lamar Jackson is an electrifying, physics defying quarterback. He dazzles on the field every Sunday, and makes jaw dropping plays that even some of the most talented quarterbacks could only ever dream of. Jim Harbaugh is a Super Bowl winning coach with a long history of success, and has ties with Chiefs coach Andy Reid. The Ravens have always been presented as a nasty, physical football team, with a ferocious defense and an offense that can smash even the stoutest of defensive fronts. All of this adds up to the Ravens being the obvious threat to Kansas City in the AFC year in and year out. The problem? That just hasn’t been the case.

Titans. Patriots. Browns. Colts. Bills. Texans. What do these teams have in common? They have played (and lost) to Kansas City during Patrick Mahomes tenure in the postseason. The Ravens are no where to be seen on that list. That is because largely, they run roughshod over their other opponents until January rolls around. That is when they get bounced by teams like the Titans, who went on the road and upset them in a year where they were the #1 seed in the conference. Or the Buffalo Bills come to town, and send them packing early after another lackluster postseason performance. This is all to say, the Ravens have never even sniffed the Chiefs in the playoffs.

The Chiefs own the Ravens in recent years and 2021 looks to further that script.

The thing is, when the Ravens do get to take a swing at the Chiefs, they leave licking their wounds. Lamar Jackson is 0-3 against Patrick Mahomes. The last three meetings have actually been getting progressively worse for Baltimore. After taking them to overtime in 2018, they followed up with losing to Kansas City in Baltimore by a score of 33-28. That score is deceptive considering the Chiefs were up 30-13 heading into the fourth quarter. Last year was more of the same, as the Chiefs raced out to an early 27-10 halftime lead.

Overall, the Ravens have lost by a combined total of 94-72, an average of a little over a touchdown per game. They not only haven’t threatened the Chiefs, they have mostly just been a team Kansas City stomps early and turns on the cruise control.

This goes even deeper than the last three years, too. Andy Reid hasn’t lost to John Harbaugh since his days as an Eagle, and has an all time record of 5-1 against his former assistant. Reid is actually notorious for getting the best of coaches in his coaching tree. I know, some of these past numbers have no bearing on these current teams, but honestly, that outlook may be even more bleak for present day Baltimore.

The Ravens are coming into this game banged up. They have lost players like Marcus Peters and J.K. Dobbins for the year. All-Pro tackle Ronnie Stanley is also going to be sidelined this week (and maybe longer) with an ankle injury. Cornerbacks Chris Westry is also out and Marlon Humphrey is banged up. Obviously, coming into a game against Kansas City with health concerns is less than ideal, and doubly so when those injuries are in the secondary and an All-Pro lineman.

The Ravens and the Chiefs appear to be two teams trending in the opposite direction. Kansas City just knocked off who might be the Ravens biggest threat in the AFC North, while the Ravens couldn’t handle perennial AFC West mediocrity in the Las Vegas Raiders. If the Ravens start 0-2, they are going to be in big trouble with two games against the Browns and Steelers still to go. If Kansas City can handle the Ravens, they will have already taken down two playoff teams from the year before.

To me, the Ravens are no longer on the Chiefs radar. Teams like the Browns, Bills, Steelers, and even Dolphins seem more equipped to challenge the Kansas City for AFC supremacy. The Ravens are starting off the first 17 game NFL season with a bang, as in being banged up. They need to pull off this upset win to avoid going down a path that leads to missing the playoffs, Quite frankly, I don’t think they have the juice to do it.

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