The Chiefs and the Ravens battle it out in the AFC Championship for the opportunity to go to Las Vegas for Super Bowl LVIII.
The Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens have met in the playoffs before, in the 2010-11 season AFC Wild Card. This showdown is expected to be a thriller, especially with the Ravens winning the last meeting between these two quarterbacks in 2021. It will be a must-see television event, with each team coming off a slightly different type of divisional game.
The Chiefs have been to the AFC Championship each year that Patrick Mahomes has been a starter. Despite the matchup in Buffalo being the only road playoff game in the Mahomes era, they appeared to have no issues stemming from not playing at home. Look for more of the same against the Ravens.
The only thing that may hurt the Chiefs are injuries. When you look at their injury report, you might shake your head and wonder how they will have a chance to win. The Chiefs are coming off of a shootout with the Buffalo Bills, so they should be ready to go from the start. The defense will need to be on guard against the run, and the offense will need its stars to shine.
The Ravens have been on a roll this season and are looking to get to their first Super Bowl since 2012 (beating San Fransico to get the trophy). If you have any conspiracy theories about the colors in this year’s Super Bowl logo – a repeat of 2012, anyone?
The defense for the Ravens will have to find a way to shut down Travis Kelce and Isiah Pacheco. On the other side of the ball, Lamar Jackson and the offense will need to run the ball. Kansas City has had an issue with teams running the ball on them; last week, Buffalo faired decently with the run.
The Ravens offense will also need to wear Kansas City’s defense down. They were victorious against Houston in the second half, but they must do it from the start to keep the Chiefs from doing what they do best.
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Date: Sunday, January 28, 2024
Start time: 3:00 p.m. EST
Location: Baltimore, MD
Stadium: M&T Bank Stadium
TV Info: CBS, NFL+
Odds courtesy of DraftKings.
Point Spread: KC +4(-110), BAL -4(-110)
Moneyline: KC +164, BAL -198
Over/Under: 44.5 KC (-112), BAL (-108)
Again, Kansas City is considered the underdog in their second road playoff game.
What To Watch For
- Jackson will be able to rack up the rushing yardage against the Chiefs’ defense
- Gus Edwards and Justice Hill will be hard to stop
- Ravens come out swinging from the beginning instead of waiting until after the half
- The defense will do whatever it takes to make the Chiefs offense more inconsistent
- Steve Spagnuolo to make adjustments to the defense at halftime
- Chris Jones needs to make an impact against Lamar and the Ravens
- They will work to limit the Ravens’ explosive offense
- Mahomes will find a way to make plays against a dynamic Ravens defense
There can only be one team to move on to the Super Bowl. Both teams are worthy, but any given Sunday can be your best or worst day. Look for the game to be close unless something drastic happens. Each team has a great quarterback, capable receivers, and a defense that can go on the attack. The championship game is a battle of wills; the victor will be the team that utilizes its players best.
And maybe a little luck along the way wouldn’t hurt.