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NFL Week 15: Three keys for Ravens' defense versus Chiefs

Here's who the Ravens need to keep a close eye on.

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The Chiefs are a complex and almost a paradoxical offense. Despite being 23rd in the league in yards per game, they are playing good ball when it counts, scoring 25.5 points each game, which is good for eighth-best in the league. Without dynamic running back Jamaal Charles, the Chiefs have also still been able to pound it on the ground. The ground attack led by Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West is the league's sixth-best. In the air, the usually conservative Alex Smith has lead the Chiefs middle-of-the-road passing attack to a seven-game win streak.

So what can the Ravens do to stop this surprisingly effective offense? Not much. But if they want to give it their best try, here's what needs to be done.

Shutdown Jeremy Maclin

The first and foremost focus of the Ravens should be keying in on Jeremy Maclin. The team got posterized last week by Doug Baldwin of the Seahawks, who score three touchdowns last week. Maclin is another hot receiver who fits the same mold as Baldwin. Maclin, who has scored three touchdowns over the past two games, is a prime candidate to break out against this weak Ravens' secondary. After Maclin, the Chiefs are devoid of talented wide receivers. It is paramount that the Ravens do whatever it takes to stop Maclin.

Quarantine Kelce

Travis Kelce has been quiet of late, but he can turn it up anytime he gets looks from his quarterback. I refer to him as a "talent without the targets". If Kelce can get free deep down the field, it could spell trouble for the Ravens, who haven't exactly excelled at covering tight ends this year.

Win the battles in the trenches

Despite the Chiefs' sixth-ranked running attack, their offensive line isn't exactly perfect. This especially applies to the right side of the line,. Headlined by RT Jah Reid and RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, this side has spelled trouble for the Chiefs in the past, and is a key matchup the Ravens line needs to expose.