Credit for the Ravens rousing statement victory over their nemesis, the Chiefs, is attributable to monumental individual player performances, coaching brilliance and sheer determination.
Defensive Coordinator Don Martindale devised perhaps the best gameplan of his tenure, overcoming the absences of Marcus Peters and Jimmy Smith, plus a pair of in-game injuries, to impede Kansas City’s mighty offense. Success on defense naturally began in the trenches, Baltimore managed to hold the Chiefs under 3.5 yards per carry despite the loss of nose tackle Brandon Williams to an apparent neck injury in the third quarter.
With Williams knocked out after 19 snaps, veteran stalwart Calais Campbell shouldered a 57-percent snap share. Reserve lineman Justin Ellis saw 20 solid snaps while Broderick Washington was inactive. Justin Madubuike contributed 25 disruptive snaps with Derek Wolfe sidelined, the second year penetrator recorded a tackle for loss and would have had another if not for a suspect holding penalty.
At inside linebacker, Patrick Queen was on the field for all 51 defensive snaps, leading the team with eight takedowns despite several missed tackles. Malik Harrison and Chris Board took turns attempting to mark Travis Kelce with 34 and 19 snaps, respectively.
Odafe Oweh was undoubtedly Baltimore’s defensive star on Sunday night. The rookie edge rusher generated a pair of crucial second half turnovers during his 38 snaps, the most among the outside linebacker group. Competing primarily against former Raven Orlando Brown Jr., Justin Houston recorded a tackle for loss and quarterback hit during his 27 snaps. Tyus Bowser had another quiet 31 snap outing, Pernell McPhee saw an 18-percent snap share reduction from his Week 1 usage, and Jaylen Ferguson earned just a single snap versus the Chiefs pass-heavy attack.
Mainstays Chuck Clark and Marlon Humphrey played a full complement of snaps, as did Anthony Averett who is realizing his Pro Bowl potential with an expanded opportunity this season. Slot corner Tavon Young rebounded from Week 1 with a steady 40 snap showing that included a timely interception.
Rookie Brandon Stephens began the game as the dime back and was thrust into a prominent role once DeShon Elliott exited due to a concussion after 24 snaps. Safety Geno Stone saw the most extensive action of his career with 12 defensive snaps and rookie undrafted free agent Ar’Darius Washington made his Ravens debut.
On the other side of the ball, Coordinator Greg Roman put Lamar Jackson in position to produce 346 yards and a 36 point scoring output. Benefitting from Roman’s diverse play calling and a home field crowd, the offensive line made a stark improvement without the services of franchise left tackle Ronnie Stanley. Alejandro Villanueva, Bradley Bozeman, Kevin Zeitler and Patrick Mekari played all of the offense’s 76 snaps, each fared admirably well.
Mammoth blocker Ben Cleveland platooned with Ben Powers at left guard, the third-year pro out-snapped the rookie 44 to 32. Trystan Colon received nine snaps as the sixth offensive lineman in heavy formations. Fullback Patrick Ricard was also a major piece of the gameplan with a 63-percent snap share and blocking tight end Eric Tomlinson chipped in with 12 snaps.
Ty’Son Williams led the running back committee with 37 snaps, 13 carries and 77 yards. Latavius Murray found the end zone again and produced 36 yards during his 27 snaps. In his Ravens debut, Devonta Freeman received 10 snaps and contributed a 31-yard run.
Facing his former team, Sammy Watkins paced the receiving corps with 70 snaps. Mark Andrews saw 57 snaps and secured all five of his targets for 57 yards. Marquise Brown continued to excel on the national stage with 113 yards and a score on 10 targets and a 72-percent snap share.
Josh Oliver received 12 snaps and recorded his first reception in a Ravens uniform. Devin Duvernay did not touch the ball on offense despite a 49-percent snap share, nor did James Proche or Tylan Wallace on five snaps and one snap, respectively. Anthony Levine, Kristian Welsh, Board, Stone, Wallace, Harrison and recent signee Kevon Seymour spearheaded Baltimore’s special teams units.
In Week 2, the Ravens proved they have the playmakers, roster depth and coaching acumen required to rise above a litany of significant injuries and defeat Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs.