A dozen (or so) tasks the Chiefs must accomplish to knock off the Ravens

The Chiefs are playing in their sixth consecutive AFC Championship Game. If they're going to go back to the Super Bowl, here's what they need to do.

Jan 21, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15)
Jan 21, 2024; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) / Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Start fast

In previous years, the Chiefs have gotten off to slow starts and they were just fine. In the 2019-20 playoffs, they were down by double-digits in all three games but won the Super Bowl anyway. They trailed the Eagles 24-14 at halftime in Super Bowl LVII. That can't happen in this game.

The Ravens are a team that feasts on momentum, especially at home. Once they gain a significant lead, it's difficult to come back against them since their defense and running game are so strong.

The Chiefs need to play from ahead in this game. They can't allow the Ravens to go up by a touchdown early. If they win the coin toss, Kansas City should elect to take the ball, though they generally like to defer the choice to the second half.

If they start the game with the ball, go up 7-0, then force the Ravens to punt on their opening drive, a 10-0 or 14-0 lead will be enough to suck the energy out of M&T Bank Stadium. Given how riled up that stadium gets when Baltimore has a big lead, it might be too much even for Patrick Mahomes to overcome. A strong start is important in every game but is crucial in this one.