By: Emily Musella
Patrick Mahomes looks to win anticipated shootout against Lamar Jackson
Kickoff: Sunday, September 22nd, 1 p.m. EST, Arrowhead Stadium
Odds: Kansas City (-7)
O/U: Over 55
Folks, this is perhaps the most anticipated matchup of week 3. Two young and impressive QB’s face-off in a TD shootout for the ages. Leading the Kansas City Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes continues to enthrall his fans and the league with his escapability capabilities and no-look swagger. Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson smashed the record books against Miami and continued to show composure and quickness against the Cardinals last week.
Flashback to last year when these two teams met, they took it to OT and Kansas City won by a field goal. How could you possibly choose between two, shall I say, ELITE quarterbacks against one another? Well, it’s time for the breakdown shakedown.
First, let’s look at the Kansas City Chiefs since their home base Arrowhead stadium is notorious for its loud and rambunctious crowd environment. Also, it’s the HOME-OPENER people. Big-time offensive players such as TE Travis Kielce continues to break tackles by using his 6ft 5in 260lb body to his advantage. He recorded 107 yards on just 7 receptions last week. There is no stopping that man and the Ravens need to conjure up a way to at least contain the yards he racks up after the catch.
On top of that, WR Demarcus Robinson notched 172 yards on just 6 receptions last week. It is common knowledge that the Chiefs are dynamite when it comes to spreading the rock around. Finally, WR Sammy Watkins is emerging as a key playmaker for Mahomes to look over to and boy is he excited about that.
If you can imagine, the Kansas City Chiefs do have an Achilles heel to discuss. Though their defense has managed to obtain 3 interceptions in their first two games and 3 sacks on Raiders QB Derek Carr in the first week, the defensive penalties and poor tackling skills hinder the Chiefs defense. This can be fixed with head coach Andy Reid continuing to drill the importance of consistency in his player’s minds.
Can the Chief’s defense fix their early season mistakes to be considered an AFC juggernaut like the New England Patriots ?
Onto the Baltimore Ravens and stud QB Lamar Jackson. Last year, he was the Running Man, this year, he is the Airborne Osbourne. Yes, this man is on a Crazy Train, and there is no stopping his production level. The second year QB set multiple NFL records within the first two weeks of the season.
As for Lamar’s offensive lineup besides himself of course, WR Marquise Brown in his rookie season is having a superb stat start and will most likely remain a high target for Jackson. TE Mark Andrews is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game which could have a large impact if he is downgraded to out. Andrews recorded 112 yards last week on 8 catches.
RB Mark Ingram went off in week 1 against Miami, and played a nice game last week against the Cardinals. This week, if Jackson and Ingram can light up the running game once again, the Kansas City Defense could have their hands full.
Baltimore has only two noticeable weaknesses that could deter their chances for a W on Sunday. Defending the pass is a tall task when going against Patrick Mahomes but the Ravens defense can not give him ample time to run around and find his targets, looking or not.
Another issue is the amount of penalties Baltimore can rack up in a game. We have all seen the detrimental outcome of too many penalties as the referees are flag happy once again this season.
The brawl on Sunday afternoon is set, and Arrowhead Stadium will surely impress with the loudest crowd throughout the NFL. Get yourselves ready for a high scoring shootout as I predict the Kansas City Chiefs to win this by only 3 points. It’s football, it’s Week 3, it’s Mahomes vs. Jackson. Let’s get ready to rumble!