Kansas City Chiefs (-5.5) v Baltimore Ravens: 52
This was KC -7 and 55 pts earlier in the week.
By far the GAME OF THE WEEK. This game is going to tell us a lot about the Ravens and whether they're for real or not.
They battled it out last year in a game which swung wildly and ended 27-24 to the Chiefs in overtime. It was one of the best games of the season and this one promises to be even better. I'm gonna dig into this one.
Patrick Mahomes is amazing. He is the only player in the league who can make some of the passes that he makes on a regular basis and it makes him near impossible to defend against, he can make them off-balance, on the run, across his body.
If you're open somewhere on the field he's able to fire the ball straight into you. Two games into the season he's on 821 yards and 7 TDs. On target for 6,500+ yards and 56 TDs. Fucking ridiculous.
Last week was a weird one though, they scored their entire 28 points in the second quarter. His line is set at 317.5 and I'm still tempted to take the over. He threw for 377 in the game vs a better Baltimore defense last year.
The best thing about this Mahomes offense as a team is that he doesn't have one target, literally if someone is open he'll find them and with the pace they've got in that offense players often get themselves open. Last week without Tyreek Hill it was a Demarcus Robinson game, he finished with 172-2 hauling in all 6 of his targets. I don't expect that to repeat at all, but it was a hell of a performance.
The man I thought would lead the team in yards was Mecole Hardman and in fairness had it not been for a called back play he would have been up there, he finished with a measly 61 yards and a TD. It would have been 120ish without the penalty.
The bulk of the targets have been going to Sammy Watkins though, despite only 49 yards he finished last week with 13 targets after 11 in week one. And all of this is without mentioning the best tight end in the league, Travis Kelce who went over 100 yards and got himself a TD last week.
The backfield is beaten up for the Chiefs this time around though, Damien Williams is out with injury and Shady McCoy has a knock but I'd expect him to be the main man still. Behind him are Darrell Williams (11) and Darwin Thompson (3.3); a lot of people want the rookie to get a lot of the ball but it seems more likely to me that Darrell will get first go if carries/catches are going begging back there and at 10/1 he's probably worth a go opposed to the 23/10 or so for the kid.
The Chiefs have improved on defense this year as they realise they've got to be better there to make a run at the Superbowl and are sitting about mid-league in most categories, that's about all they need to do to make this a team who wins most weeks.
Lamar Jackson and the Ravens have impressed most with the way they started the season; We all knew that Jackson was great with his feet and had a decent arm, but we didn't really know how accurate he could be. Whether he's throwing bombs to one of the quickest guys in the league, or throwing game icing touch passes to the sideline he's been great at all facets so far.
Honestly, he's looked great. My ONLY and main Caveat is that it was against the worst team in NFL history and the Cardinals secondary without their two best cornerbacks. It gives me a little bit of pause.
I probably should have mentioned him rushing ability too, he didn't need to in week 1, but week 2 he rushed for 120 yards from 16 attempts. he had 14 rush attempts in the game between these two last season.
I think most of us thought the Ravens offense would be predicated on a dominant run game and while it's been very good it hasn't been the be all and end all for this team. Mark Ingram has come in and taken the majority of the load so far, 27 attempts for 154 yards. Justice Hill and Gus Edwards have mixed in well. I was high on Justice Hill in pre-season and it seemed he'd be getting a decent role in this offense but as yet that hasn't materialised.
The passing game runs mainly through their tight end MAndrews, Mark Andrews has been a beast so far this year, 8 catches, 100+ yards and a TD in each of their first two games and if he's good to go (he is back in practise) then he's one to target this week especially at 11/4 (3.75 on betfair) The Chiefs typically struggle against TE as well.
Their WRs have lit up the league so far as well. We all knew Marquise ‘Hollywood' Brown was lightning quick and he's shown that with a line of 147 and 2 from 4 catches, off of just 14 snaps against Miami, and 86 from 8 last week including the catch that sealed it down the far sideline. They'll probably be hoping for a bit more from Miles Boykin who is highly rated by a lot of people.
The roster building and coaching from the Ravens has been frustratingly brilliant since they drafted Lamar. They know what he can do and they gave him the players to be able to do it. If you stop the run he'll beat you deep with the pace they've got. If you stop that they'll run the ball.
This game is a real litmus test for the Ravens. They're going up against the best offense there is. I'm surprisingly excited to watch this one!