Sunday Night Football reaction: Chiefs vs Ravens looks like AFCCG preview

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) celebrates scoring a fourth quarter touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs at M&T Bank Stadium
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Andrew Ortenberg

NFL· 1 month ago

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I'm an editor here at Pickswise who was raised in a household full of sports fanatics. Since I unfortunately never had LeBron James' jumping ability I wasn't able to make it to the NBA, and chose writing about sports as the next best thing. An avid sports bettor myself, I'm excited to get to write about the industry as it gets set to take off across the country. Buckle up.

Another primetime nationally televised game, another instant classic. The standalone games so far in this 2021 season have consistently been excellent. The Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens certainly didn’t disappoint. Kansas City controlled the game for most of the night, but the Ravens managed to steal a 36-35 victory.

Sad that the game is over? Me too. But if it’s any consolation, I don’t think this is the last time we’ll be seeing these teams play. It definitely looked like a potential preview of an AFC Championship Game this January. Let’s break down what we just saw:

Ravens and Chiefs may meet again

I don’t see any reason to believe these aren’t the two best teams in the AFC. What made the Ravens’ upset win even more impressive is that they did it despite a recent onslaught of injuries. This team is just about as banged up as they could possibly be, and they still took down the Chiefs.

Missing multiple starters in the secondary, they managed to best Kansas City’s all-time great passing game. There’s been a narrative in recent years that the Ravens can’t play from behind, thus limiting their upside in the playoffs. Baltimore shut down that narrative on Sunday night, as they won despite trailing the Chiefs by double digits for much of the night.

There’s no reason to panic if you’re a Chiefs fan. They let the game get away from them, but still looked like the clear best team in the league. Their run defense is definitely suspect, but when it comes time for playoff football, we’ve seen clearly in recent years that run defense isn’t the most important thing.

At this point, the Chiefs do tend to sleepwalk a bit through some regular-season games. Given what we’ve seen from them in the past, it’s really not too much of a concern. The Bills bounced back from their tough Week 1 with a big win over the Dolphins, but I still think Baltimore has an edge on them for second-best team in the AFC behind Kansas City.

Hopefully we get the Patrick Mahomes vs Lamar Jackson rematch we all deserve…

Lamar Jackson silences critics

Speaking of narratives, there have been a lot of disrespectful ones about Jackson. The former MVP silenced all his critics and then some on Sunday night. He made a couple of bad decisions, but promptly bounced back each time. Jackson wasn’t rattled after throwing a pick-six on the team’s opening drive.

He ended up averaging 9.2 yards per attempt while making some gutsy throws. Of course, Jackson was also dazzling on the ground. He rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns, frequently making the Chiefs look foolish for even attempting to tackle him.

When Jackson is that dynamic, this team can win a Super Bowl, even with injuries in their secondary.

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