The best two quarterbacks go head-to-head on Monday Night Football when the Baltimore Ravens host the Kansas City Chiefs looking to snap a three-game losing streak against the defending Super Bowl champions.
With Week 3 of the NFL season barely in the books, it may seem premature to describe the matchup as a dress rehearsal for the AFC Championship Game, but the Chiefs and the Ravens are by far the two best teams and have both hit the ground running, winning their first two games of the season.
In Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson Kansas City and Baltimore share the last two regular season MVPs and generational talents who should dominate the NFL for the next decade at least.
Here’s all you need to know ahead of Monday night.
- Kickoff time—The Ravens host the Chiefs at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET on Monday, September 28.
- TV channel—ESPN
- Live stream—ESPN’s digital platforms and watchESPN.
- Odds—The Ravens are 3.5-point favorite and 19/20 to cover the spread with FanDuel, while the over/under line for total points scored is set at 53.5. In moneyline terms, Baltimore is a 29/50 favorite, while Kansas City is a 37/25 outsider.
- Series record—The Chiefs lead the all-time series 6-3 and have won the last three against the Ravens.
A year ago, the Chiefs and the Ravens were both 2-0 when they met in Week 3 of the regular season in Kansas City, Missouri, and the hosts edged a close contest 33-28.
The Ravens rebounded from the loss and won 12 of their next 13 regular season games, only to then come undone in the AFC Divisional Round for the second consecutive season, while the Chiefs ended a 50-year wait for the Vince Lombardi Trophy as they won Super Bowl LIV in February.
Twelve months on, the Chiefs and Ravens again meet in Week of 3 of the regular season, both teams again boast a 2-0 record and the revamped postseason format means Monday night’s game could have a major impact in the race for the top-seed in the AFC, the solitary bye spot and the home-field advantage that comes with it.
With 13 games left in the regular season, describing Monday night’s matchup as a potentially season-defining game may seem somewhat exaggerated but such has been the dominance of both teams over the past 12 months—albeit Baltimore’s was confined to the regular season—that it would be a major surprise not to see them contesting the AFC Championship Game in January.
Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson have the potential to define the NFL for the next decade at least and it speaks volumes for the caliber of both quarterbacks that Monday night will be the first game in NFL history featuring two former league MVPs—Mahomes won the award in 2018, succeeded by Jackson last season—who are yet to turn 26.
Both Mahomes and Jackson have hit the ground running this season. The former, who is 2-0 against Jackson in his career, has passed for a combined 513, five touchdowns and zero interceptions and now has seven consecutive games with at least 300 passing yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions, the joint-longest streak in league history along with Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers.
Jackson, meanwhile, has 479 passing yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions through the first two weeks of the season and leads all AFC quarterbacks with a passer rating of 134.6.
Last season Jackson became only the second quarterback in NFL history to rush for at least 1,000 yards and while he has been slightly less effective—he averaged 6.85 yards per carry over 11.7 attempts per game last season, compared to 4.3 yards per carry over 11.5 attempts per game this season—he remains a devastating weapon on the ground.
At an average of 170.5 yards per game, the Ravens have the third-best rushing offense in the NFL, which could spell troubles for a Chiefs defense that gave up 118 rushing yards against the Texans in the season opener and 183 rushing against the Chargers last week.
If the Chiefs defense has to be worried about the Ravens, the opposite also applies. Baltimore has given up a combined 751 passing yards and five touchdowns to Mahomes in two previous meetings with the reigning Super Bowl MVP at an average of 8.9 yards per attempt.
Something will have to give on Monday night.
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