Following the nail-biting week one matchup in which the K.C. Chiefs overcame a 12-point deficit against the Cleveland Browns, they look to keep the ball rolling in their Week 2 contest against a familiar foe, the Baltimore Ravens. Particularly in the first half, the Chiefs defense struggled as a unit against the clever and urgent offensive game plan enacted and well-executed by Cleveland.
That being said, the Chiefs defense was in no way at full strength, as they were missing several key pieces in Tyrann Mathieu, Frank Clark, Willie Gay, and Deandre Baker. Though Gay is still expected to miss more time with a toe injury, the Chiefs will surely benefit from having some of their key guys back in the fold against Baltimore.
The addition of Tyrann Mathieu should never be understated, and his absence from the field in week one was visible to everyone. Up until the interception by Mike Hughes, which ended the Browns’ hopes of upsetting KC, Baker Mayfield was nothing short of lethal against the Chiefs’ secondary, competing 75% of his passes.
The K.C. Chiefs’ defensive line and secondary is about to get better.
Aside from his tight coverage and knack for picking off opposing quarterbacks, Mathieu’s mindset is instrumental in enacting Steve Spagnuolo’s defensive scheme in KC. His ability to act as a defensive Swiss Army knife through sneaky blitzes and line up against anyone is much to the detriment of any opposing offense. In addition, “The Honey Badger” ensures that every teammate is lined up in their correct position and brings a fiery swagger to every man on the roster. His non-attendance last week hurt, but his presence even with limited snaps will surely be felt in Week 2.
Similarly, the Chiefs will also profit from Frank Clark making his season-debut against the Ravens on Sunday. Though Chris Jones was able to get himself couple of sacks last week, the Chiefs defense struggled pressuring the quarterback overall. At times it seemed that Mayfield had all day to throw, thus allowing for his lofty completion percentage. Having “Mr. 55 and he ain’t offsides” should certainly help out in this department. When healthy and motivated, Clark has shown to wreak havoc in the opposition’s backfield, as well as offering much needed help in preventing running backs from breaking free along the edge.
Finally, Chiefs fans should be pleased to see Deandre Baker making his return. Arriving to Kansas City last year, Baker was sadly only able to start in one game before suffering a broken femur in week 17. Though fans didn’t get much of a chance to truly see his talents Baker did show some promise. He was inactive last week, but there’s little doubt that this first-round pick is highly motivated to make a splash for the KC secondary which had some issues in the first half against the Browns.
While the Chiefs defense is gaining some valuable assets for this exciting week 2 matchup, Baltimore seems to be losing some. Last week the Ravens saw two offensive linemen get injured in their first game of the season. Guard Tyre Phillips and All-Pro tackle Ronnie Staley were placed on injured reserve ahead of their clash with the Chiefs. The addition of playmakers across the board for the KC defense should be primed and ready to take full advantage on Sunday. Time to harass Lamar!