Baltimore Ravens vs. Kansas City Chiefs

On Sunday, December 9 at 1:00 pm, the playoff hopeful Baltimore Ravens travel to ice cold Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, MO to face the dominating Kansas City Chiefs who are favored to win this AFC battle by almost a touchdown, broadcasted by CBS.

The 7-5 Baltimore Ravens:

Ever since the 7-5 Baltimore Ravens’ starting quarterback Joe Flacco injured his hip in Week 9 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, head coach John Harbaugh has started rookie Lamar Jackson, and the first-round draft pick has gone 3-0.

In fact, Jackson even set a franchise record for rushing in his first start against the Bengals in Week 11 by running 117 yards on top of completing 13-for-19 for 150 yards for the win.

The Ravens are 3-3 on the road (though Jackson is 1-0), and they’re 6-3 against AFC rivals (but Jackson is 2-0), so there’s a good chance Baltimore will at least give the Chiefs a hefty challenge in the open winter air of Arrowhead.

The 10-2 Kansas City Chiefs:

In a close brush with ‘any given Sunday,’ the 10-2 Kansas City Chiefs came within a recovered onside kick of a possible Oakland Raiders fourth quarter comeback but they ended up beating the much weaker team 40-33.

The playoff-bound Chiefs are led by second-year quarterback phenom Patrick Mahomes, who’s having himself a breakout year, leading his Chiefs to ten wins and just two losses, both of those by only a field goal.

Kansas City is 5-0 at home and 8-1 against AFC foes, so unless they struggle offensively against a much better Ravens’ defense, this one looks to be a sure bet for yet another Chiefs win.

What’s at stake:

These two teams have met 8 times (including 1 postseason game), with Kansas City winning 4 games and Baltimore winning 4 games. The Chiefs have lost four out of the last five meetings, though they won the most recent meeting in December of 2015 by a score of 34-14.

If the Ravens win this matchup, their record will be 8-5 and at the very least they’ll stay within half a game of the Pittsburgh Steelers on top of the AFC North.

But if the Chiefs come out on top, they’ll be 11-3 and maintain their narrow one-game lead over the Los Angeles Chargers in the still up-for-grabs AFC West.

Questions to answer…

Who’s favored to win this Week 14 Ravens-Chiefs matchup?

Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?

Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?

We’re going to compare the Ravens and the Chiefs and attempt to answer those questions and more.

The 2018 Ravens offense recharged with Jackson

Not only can Jackson pass – he’s thrown for 540 yards and two touchdowns – he can also run, which he’s done 82 times for 404 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Jackson has thrown 3 interceptions in his first two starts, so the rookie needs to take better care of the football like he did in Week 13 against the Falcons when he had zero picks, though one of this three fumbles in that game was run back for a touchdown.

Receivers Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Sneed along with rookie tight ends Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst are Jackson’s targets, but it will take awhile for the chemistry to gel, hopefully in time to qualify for the playoffs.

Ravens rushing attack improved by Jackson

Running back Gus Edwards gets the majority of the touches, last week running 21 times for 82 yards and averaging 3.9 yards per carry.

Quarterback Jackson is another Ravens running threat, his quickness out of the pocket evident against the Falcons when he ran the ball 17 times for 75 yards and a touchdown, averaging 4.4 yards per carry.

Baltimore offensive Injuries

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (hip) is listed as questionable for Week 14 at Kansas City, though it’s doubtful he would start given Jackson, his replacement, has gone 3-0 in his absence.

Tackle James Hurst (back) is also listed as questionable for Week 14.

The 2018 Chiefs offense firing on all cylinders

Not only is Mahomes having an impressive year – 287 completions for 3,923 yards (ranked 2nd) and 41 touchdowns (ranked first) with just 10 interceptions – his surrounding targets are showing off their high-level skills, as well.

Receiver Tyreek Hill already has well over a thousand yards worth of receptions (1,119) plus 11 touchdowns, and he’s also used his unique speed and toughness to rush 15 times for 118 yards.

Another thousand-yarder (1,082) with 9 touchdowns of his own is tight end Travis Kelce, who is becoming the Chief’s very own ‘Gronk’ with soft hands and bone-crushing power.

Kansas City’s run game just above average

The Chiefs ground attack is ranked 13th in the league after averaging 120.7 yards per game, 4.9 yards per carry and snagging just a fourth of the team’s touchdowns (11).

The biggest factor currently affecting Kansas City’s run game is the release of Pro-Bowl running back Kareem Hunt after a video surfaced of him attacking a woman.

Spencer Ware will be the Chief’s main rusher for now, though Mahomes will give him a run for his money every week.

Kansas City offensive Injuries

Wide receiver Sammy Watkins (foot) is listed as questionable for Week 14.

Ravens Defense ranks 1st in the league

Ravens’ opponents are held to 17.8 points and 281.7 total yards per game, their overall defense is ranked number one in the league, and Baltimore is ranked 2nd against the pass and 3rd against the run.

Baltimore is ranked 9th in total sacks with 35, but is tied for 30th in interceptions with just 5.

Ravens Defensive Players to watch:

Second-team All-Pro inside linebacker C.J. Mosley has been scary in the midfield, with 77 combined tackles (3 for loss) and 3 passes defended.

Always ready to hunt quarterbacks are Ravens linebackers Za’Darius Smith and Terrell Suggs, both with 6.5 sacks, and Matt Judon, who has 6.0 sacks.

Linebacker Tim Williams (illness) and strong safety Tony Jefferson (ankle) are both listed as questionable for Week 14 at Kansas City.

Chiefs Defense is 31st overall

The Chiefs’ biggest weakness is their defense (only the Cincinnati Bengals rank worse), allowing opponents to score an average of 27.2 points and gain 417.0 total yards per game.

Though Kansas City is ranked 22nd against the run and last against the pass, they’ve sacked 39 quarterbacks (ranked 2nd in the NFL) and have 11 interceptions (T-11th most).

Chiefs Defensive Players to watch:

Inside linebacker Anthony Hitchens is tied for 11th most combined tackles in the league with 96 (6 for loss), and he has a quarterback hit and a forced fumble.

The Chiefs have two top-ten rushers – outside linebacker Dee Ford has 10.5 sacks and defensive end Chris Jones has 10.0 sacks.

Cornerback Steven Nelson has 3 interceptions, tied for 9th most in the NFL, as well as 50 combined tackles and 10 passes defended.

Defensive back Eric Berry (heel) is listed as questionable for Week 14.

Special Teams Stats Comparison

Punters:

Baltimore’s punter, Sam Koch, is a 12-year veteran who has punted 47 times for a net average of 39.6 yards per punt, ranked 20th in the NFL.

Last week against the Falcons, Koch faked a punt and completed a 21-yard pass for the first down.

Kansas City’s 14-year veteran punter, Dustin Colquitt, has been a Chief his whole career and so far, he’s punted 34 times for a net average of 41.9 yards per punt, ranked sixth in the league.

Placekickers:

Baltimore’s veteran placekicker, Justin Tucker, has gone 25-for-27, his longest was a 56-yarder.

Tucker has missed one extra point attempt (28/29).

Kansas City’s placekicker, Harrison Butker, was an All-Rookie last season and so far he’s 19-for-20, his longest was a 50-yarder.

Butker has missed four extra point attempts (51/55).

Punt Returners:

Baltimore’s punt returner, Cyrus Jones, is ranked 7th in the league.

Jones has returned 14 kicks for 187 yards and no touchdowns, averaging 13.4 yards per return, his longest being a 70-yard return for a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders in Week 12.

Kansas City’s punt returner, wide receiver Tyreek Hill, is ranked 16th in the league in return average.

Hill has returned 17 punts for 197 yards and a touchdown, averaging 11.6 yards per return, his longest a 91-yard return for a touchdown against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 1.

Ravens–Chiefs prediction and odds

The oddsmakers have the Chiefs favored over the Ravens by 6.5 with an over/under of 53.0.

Raves vs. Chiefs live streaming options

With NFL Game Pass you can watch NFL games both live and on demand 24/7. Live stream the Ravens vs. Chiefs matchup with NFL Game Pass.

The oddsmakers have the Chiefs favored over the Ravens by 6.5 with an over/under of 53.0.

CBSSports.com has two final score predictions:

Pete Prisco goes with the under and has it Chiefs 27, Ravens 21

John Breech takes the even and predicts it Chiefs 30, Ravens 23

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