Baltimore Ravens vs Kansas City Chiefs: Odds and Predictions (NFL Week 3)
John Breech of CBS Sports takes the over and predicts the score as Chiefs 34, Ravens 31. My prediction is take the over, final score Chiefs 31, Ravens 27.
How to watch
What: Baltimore Ravens at Kansas City Chiefs
When: Sunday, September 22 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Where: Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri
How (TV): CBS
Latest point spread: Ravens +7, Chiefs -7
In the only Week 3 matchup between two undefeated teams, the impressive 2-0 Baltimore Ravens take their RPO offense and shutdown defense westward to Kansas City to take on the Tyreek Hill-less 2-0 Chiefs in their Arrowhead Stadium to have what looks like might be a touchdown party together.
The Raven’s second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson is proving to doubters that he can throw the football just as well as he can run with it, while the Chief’s hurler Patrick Mahomes is following up his MVP season with even more breathtaking passes to whomever he’s got lining up next to him, so the two of them going head to head on Sunday is definitely “can’t miss football” so mark those calendars now.
Let’s take a quick look at the situation each of these two teams finds themselves in Week 3.
The 2-0-0 Baltimore Ravens
For all the football experts who doubted that Lamar Jackson’s way of doing football – meaning using his blazing speed to be a constant run threat and then pass the ball if that leaves anyone else open – the answer is: it works, at least so far against the Miami Dolphins and the Arizona Cardinals.
Of course, the Phins and the Cards are not the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs, a team that not only has a far better offense than those two do but also a far better defense (and certainly much better than it was a season ago when they were close to last in that league, see below), but regardless, the Ravens are atop the league on both sides of the ball right now so this becomes an important test for the team.
These Ravens are good, no doubt about it, but playing these hi-scoring Chiefs with their improved defense will prove just how good (or not) Baltimore is, especially in the big games when it counts against playoff bound teams, and the results will say a lot about how effective they might be in the postseason.
For more on the Baltimore Ravens, check out this article: The Baltimore Ravens’ NFL Postseason
The 2-0-0 Kansas City Chiefs
The undefeated Kansas City Chiefs are without one of their main offensive weapons, speedy deep threat receiver Tyreek Hill, who is out for about 4-6 weeks with a sternoclavicular joint injury (shoulder).
That means that third-year quarterback (and man who can pass without looking) Patrick Mahomes will have to depend on the next level of Chiefs receivers, like the talented Sammy Watkins, Demarcus Robinson and De’Anthony Thomas.
Kansas City’s new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo has improved his squad greatly from last season (they’ve gone from 31st to 19th so far), but the team has yet to face an explosive offense like the Ravens’ have with the ever elusive Jackson under center, so this will be the perfect test to see just how much this Kansas City defense has truly improved.
For more on the Kansas City Chiefs, check out this article: The Kansas City Chiefs’ Biggest Offseason Moves
What’s at Stake
These two teams have met 9 total times (including 1 postseason game), with Kansas City winning 5 of those games and Baltimore winning 4 games.
The Chiefs have won the last two matchups between these two teams, including once last season in December by an overtime score of 27-23.
If the Ravens win this matchup, they’ll be 3-0-0 and take total charge of the AFC North, where every other team already has at least one loss.
But if the Chiefs are victorious, then they’ll be the ones to go 3-0-0, which would begin their march back to the playoffs fully atop the AFC West, a division that is otherwise filled with teams with at least one loss now.
Questions to Answer
Who’s favored to win this Week 3 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 briefly compare the Ravens and the Chiefs next and attempt to answer those questions and more.
Offensive Stats Comparison
Baltimore Ravens Overall Offense
- Ranked 9th overall in 2018
- Ranked 1st overall in 2019
Passing attack: The Baltimore Ravens currently have the 4th ranked passing offense, averaging 318.0 yards through the air per game.
Lamar Jackson is the 11th ranked quarterback after two weeks, having completed 41-of-57 for 596 total yards and 7 touchdowns with no interceptions.
Rookie receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown is impressing everybody so far, with a 3rd ranked 233 total receiving yards and 2 touchdowns after two games.
Rushing attack: The Baltimore Ravens have the best rushing offense in the league right now after averaging 223.5 yards per game.
Of course, a lot of that comes from Jackson, the team’s second leading rusher, who in two games has run the ball 19 times for 126 yards.
Running back Mark Ingram, signed in the offseason, is the Ravens’ leading rusher with 27 carries for 154 yards and 2 touchdowns, the 12th most productive at his position so far.
Baltimore Offensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for Week 3: no Ravens players are currently listed as questionable
Injury note: offensive guard Randin Crecelius (concussion) has been placed on injured reserve.
Kansas City Chiefs Overall Offense
- Ranked 1st overall in 2018
- Ranked 3rd overall in 2019
Passing attack: The Chiefs have the league’s best passing offense right now, averaging a whopping 405.5 yards through the air per game.
Mahomes is the best quarterback in the league so far, having thrown for 821 yards and 7 touchdowns with zero interceptions
With Hill out, Sammy Watkins is the leading receiver for the Chiefs, catching 15 balls for 247 yards and 3 touchdowns so far in 2019, ranked 2nd in the league.
Rushing attack: The Chiefs rushing attack is ranked towards the lower half of the league (26th) after averaging just 72.0 yards on the ground per game.
Running back LeSean McCoy is the leading rusher for the Chiefs with 21 carries for 104 yards, but is listed as questionable for Week 3 (see below).
If McCoy can’t go, then Damien Williams will have to step up, having only rushed 22 times for 34 yards and a touchdown in two games this season.
Kansas City Offensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for Week 3: offensive tackle Eric Fisher (groin), running back LeSean McCoy (ankle), running back Damien Williams (knee)
Injury notes: wide receiver Davon Grayson (knee), quarterback Chad Henne (ankle), wide receiver Marcus Kemp (knee) and fullback John Lovett (shoulder) have all been placed on injured reserve.
These two offenses may seem close, but since the Chiefs’ squad is more proven, they have the clear advantage.
Defensive Stats Comparison
Baltimore Ravens Overall Defense
- Ranked 1st overall in 2018
- Ranked 2nd overall in 2019
Pass coverage: Even though the Ravens have the second best defense in the league, their pass coverage isn’t as good, ranking 18th overall after allowing opponents to throw for 254.0 yards on average per game.
The Ravens’ defense has 2 interceptions after two games and 6 sacks, tied for 8th most sacks in the NFL.
Run coverage: Baltimore is ranked 1st in run coverage, only allowing 20.5 yards per game so far in two weeks.
This defense has allowed 27 total points to be scored against them so far, fourth best in the league.
Ravens Defensive Players to Watch
The best Ravens’ tackler so far has been inside linebacker Patrick Onwuasor, who has 10 combined tackles and a sack in two games.
For sacks, keep an eye on outside linebacker Matt Judon, he already has 2 of them along with 7 tackles.
Cornerback Marlon Humphrey has one of Baltimore’s 2 interceptions, and free safety Earl Thomas has the other one.
Ravens Defensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for Week 3: linebacker Brynden Trawick (arm)
Injury notes: cornerback Jimmy Smith is listed as OUT, while cornerback Iman Marshall (undisclosed), safety Fish Smithson (undisclosed) and cornerback Tavon Young (neck) have all been placed on injured reserve.
Kansas City Chiefs Overall Defense
- Ranked 31st overall in 2018
- Ranked 19th overall in 2019
Pass coverage: Kansas City has the 20th best pass coverage so far after allowing opponents to throw for 262.5 yards per game.
The Chiefs’ defense has intercepted 3 passes as a team and has sacked 4 opposing quarterbacks.
Run coverage: After 2 games, Kansas City is ranked 13th against the run by allowing opponents to gain an average of 105 yards per game on the ground.
The Chiefs have allowed their two opponents to score an average of 18 points per game, which is ranked T-9th best in the league.
Chiefs Defensive Players to Watch
Right now, the best tacklers on the Chiefs are cornerback Kendall Fuller (13) and inside linebacker Anthony Hitchens (12) so watch them to take down some Ravens on Sunday.
Fuller also has one of Kansas City’s 4 team sacks, as do defensive ends Chris Jones, Tanoh Kpassagnon and Emmanuel Ogbah.
If you like secondary action, watch defensive back Bashaud Breeland, who has an interception and 3 passes defended with a fumble recovery and 8 tackles.
Chiefs Defensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for Week 3: no Chiefs defensive players are currently listed as questionable.
Injury note: cornerback Morris Claiborne (suspension) is listed as out while cornerback Keith Reaser (Achilles) and defensive end Breeland Speaks (knee – MCL) have been placed on injured reserve, and defensive end Tim Ward (knee) and linebacker Darius Harris (undisclosed) are both out with a non-football injury (NFI).
The Baltimore Ravens are the clear winner on defense and have the full advantage in this matchup.
Special Teams Stats Comparison
Baltimore’s veteran punter, Sam Koch, is in his fourteenth NFL season (all with the Ravens) and so far he has punted 4 times this season for a net average of 46.3 yards per punt, which was T-4th best in the league.
Kansas City’s veteran punter, Dustin Colquitt, is in his fifteenth NFL season, all with the Chiefs, and this season he has punted 6 times for a net average of 36.2 yards per punt, which was the 29th best in the league.
Baltimore’s placekicker, Justin Tucker, is in his eighth NFL season, all with the Ravens.
Tucker has made 4-of-4 field goals so far this season, his longest a 51 yarder, and so far, he has missed zero extra point attempts (10/10).
Kansas City’s placekicker, Harrison Butker, is in his third NFL season, all with the Chiefs.
Butker has made 4-of-4 field goals this season, his longest a 46 yarder, and he has missed zero extra point attempts (8/8).
Baltimore’s punt returner, cornerback Cyrus Jones, is ranked 5th in average punt return yardage this season.
Jones has returned 5 punts for 74 yards, averaging 14.8 yards per return.
Kansas City’s punt returner, wide receiver Mecole Hardman, is ranked 2nd in punt return average in 2019.
Hardman has returned 1 punt for 20 yards, averaging 20 yards per return.
Special Team Advantage
These two special teams with their veteran punters and placekickers are about equal – advantage nobody.
Final Game Analysis
Why Will the Ravens Win this Game?
At this point in the season, nobody quite knows how the Baltimore Ravens will attack – will they run the ball around you or come at you through the air, and at this point in the season that makes them extremely dangerous.
With a powerful RPO-minded offense and a defense that’s best in the league, there is no way this Ravens team won’t take this game into the fourth quarter and shock the football world with a last minute win.
And don’t forget, the Chiefs have to play without their best offensive playmaker, Tyreek Hill, and that makes them weaker downfield and easier to defend, so if Baltimore can keep up with Kansas City with impressive touchdown passes, they could take this one in the last minute and nobody would be surprised.
Why Will the Chiefs Win this Game?
The Kansas City Chiefs will win this game because even without receiver Hill they are the better team with a more experienced quarterback with a (no offense) way better arm.
Plus the Chiefs still have Watkins and tight end Travis Kelce so have no fear, Mahomes will find targets to get the ball to and chalk up the points as usual.
This Kansas City team is destined to play in the AFC Championship and taking on the Baltimore Ravens will most likely happen again, so defeating this run-oriented and high-scoring offense will have to become just as humdrum for the Chiefs as Mahomes’ no-look passes and out-of-pocket completions.
This Game Goes to the
Kansas City Chiefs by 4 points – Chiefs 31, Ravens 27
Current Odds Listed for Week 3: Ravens vs Chiefs
Check out the latest odds here, provided by New Jersey sportsbooks.
|Sportsbook||BAL Ravens||KC Chiefs|
|Fox Bet NJ||+210||-250|
|Sportsbook||BAL Ravens||KC Chiefs|
|Fox Bet NJ||+6|
|Fox Bet NJ||52.5|
John Breech of CBS Sports takes the over and predicts the score as Chiefs 34, Ravens 31
My prediction is take the over, final score Chiefs 31, Ravens 27