The Chargers defense have always had relative success when facing Patrick Mahomes. Somehow, their front seven has always caused a headache for the Chiefs offensive line and, in particular, Mahomes. Simply put, no team plays the Chiefs offense as well as the Chargers. On the other side of the ball, there was a number of factors that contributed to a near loss—the biggest factor being execution. The Chiefs defense were in position to make plays on a number of occasions but just couldn’t make a tackle or a play on the ball. The late introduction of Justin Herbert undoubtedly threw a spanner in the Chiefs’ defensive game plan.
2. What differences have you seen between the Super Bowl champion team a year ago and this season?
Whilst the Chiefs were a missed field goal away from losing, it’s worth noting that when you’re on a winning streak as long as Kansas City’s, then you’re not going to win every game comfortably. Winning ugly is a sign of a good team.
In short, there isn’t much of a difference. Through the first six quarters of the season, I would have said the biggest difference is Patrick Mahomes and the lack of big-play offense - but then he goes out and throws that ridiculous pass to Tyreek Hill, so it can’t be #15.
Normally with Super Bowl champions, you see them take their foot of the gas. That isn’t happening with this team. Before last season the team didn’t hide the fact that their goal was to win the Super Bowl, something they believed they should have won the year before. Now they have the Super Bowl, the goal hasn’t changed - but now it’s a dynasty their after.
3. What two players (one offense, one defense) should the Ravens be on the lookout for that are not the big-name talents we already know of?
The talk of the Chiefs Kingdom at the moment is rookie cornerback L’Jarius Sneed. After two games he has looked more than up to the challenge and he currently leads the league in interceptions. He’s been a breathe of fresh air at a position many considered thin.
One of the more unsung moves of the offseason was the Chiefs picking up Kelechi Osemele. A player with his injury history always comes with a little risk but the rewards are high. Already the Chiefs look like a better running team having his nastiness added to the offensive line.
4. Who on the Ravens’ roster, beside Lamar Jackson, are you most worried about on Monday?
I wouldn’t necessarily say I am worried about him specifically on Monday, but I’m certainly gutted to see Patrick Queen playing for a team we will consider rivals for the next few years. A lot of Chiefs fans (myself included) was hoping that Queen would have fell to Kansas City back in April. This will especially hit home when the Chiefs linebackers inevitably miss a number of tackles on Monday night.
5. What do you expect from this game and do you have a score prediction?
I expect a classic offensive game with just a sprinkling of defense. When on song, neither of these teams can be stopped. The Ravens look better right now but Mahomes is the most unstoppable player in the league when at 100%. That being said, Lamar is due a dub against Pat, and I think it arrives on Monday night.
The true winners of the night will be football fans everywhere when they realize that they are going to get this matchup annually.
Chiefs 34 Ravens 38