Ravens vs Chiefs matchup has slightly improved in talent since last season-opening round

Just slightly.
Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens
Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

The NFL season opener is set!

For the second straight year and third time in five years, the Kansas City Chiefs will open up the NFL season, yet another reward for winning the Super Bowl and being World Champions. Their match-up for Week 1 this time around is against the same team they beat to get to their fourth Super Bowl in five years, the Baltimore Ravens.

KC took down the Ravens in the AFC Championship Game earlier this year to advance to their fourth Super Bowl appearance in a five-year span, which they went on to win. Last year, the NFL had its pick of several juicy match-ups for Week 1 but surprised a lot of people when they opted to go with the up-and-coming Detroit Lions. That's what led a lot of people to assume the schedule-makers might go in a similar route this year but alas, they picked one of the toughest opponents on the Chiefs' schedule.

The Chiefs and Ravens have played a lot since Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson took over for their respective teams but this will be their first time meeting in Week 1. The Chiefs and Ravens have only met in Week 1 one other time and it was a very different time for both teams.

According to KC Sports Network, the last time the Chiefs and Ravens kicked off their seasons against each other was in 2009. The Ravens had a young Joe Flacco at quarterback while the Chiefs were still in their Brodie Croyle era for whatever reason.

Last Chiefs vs. Ravens Week 1 match-up took place in 2009

If you're wondering how that game went for the Chiefs, the answer is not very well. They lost 38 to 24 but despite the final score line, they were in the game until the final few minutes. Croyle threw for two touchdowns and zero picks but only managed 177 passing yards to Joe Flacco's 307 yards and three touchdowns (though Flacco threw one interception).

Oh, so if Croyle didn't do much through the air, the run game must've been on point then, right? Ha. No. The Chiefs only managed to rush for 29 yards compared to Baltimore's 198 yards on the ground.

Their touchdowns came via a blocked punt (thank you, Jon McGraw!) and the two aforementioned Croyle touchdown passes. All of their other points were courtesy of Ryan Succop.

This year's Week 1 match-up will not only give us a better quarterback duel but it should be a stronger defensive battle too. Both teams had strong defenses last season and while both units took hits in different areas, the Ravens are a team that values defense and the Chiefs are still rocking with Steve Spagnuolo as their defensive coordinator, meaning good things will happen on that side of the ball.

These teams look very different than they did in 2009 and hopefully, the Chiefs can make their Week 1 record against Baltimore .500 after this meeting.