The Baltimore Ravens taught the Kansas City Chiefs their first defeat with a 36:35 success and showed a lot of courage. In the end, it was a rookie who set the course for victory.
The Ravens opened the game with possession, but it was the Chiefs who scored first: Lamar Jackson threw a pass to wide receiver Hollywood Brown, which landed in the arms of safety tyrant Mathieu, who promptly returned a 34-yard interception return -Touchdown made.
However, a fast Ravens drive followed with a lot of running game and a curious end: Running back Ty’Son Williams ran over 8 yards to just before the end zone, where the ball was knocked out of his hands – but, luckily, Wide picked it Receiver Devin Duvernay from the air for a fumble recovery in the end zone for the touchdown – Ravens equalize!
Then Patrick Mahomes and his offense were finally allowed to hit the ball and the QB turned straight on – at the end of the drive there was a 33-yard deep ball to Demarcus Robinson for a touchdown.
After a few unprofitable drives in the episode – including another Mathieu interception – the home side again put on a good attack series and managed to equalize again with a 5-yard TD run by Latavius Murray three minutes before the break. However, that was enough time for the guests to refill again. Mahomes got his team into position with two longer passes on his tight ends Travis Kelce and Blake Bell, running back Darrel Williams finally completed from 2. However, there were still 52 seconds left on the clock. Time that was enough for Lamar Jackson and Co. to put on another 43-yard field goal by Justin Tucker. Break score: 9:17 pm Kansas City.
After the break, both teams gradually opened their offensive playbooks and got more creative. It started with a 40-yard touchdown catch from Byron Pringle, who ran a simple comeback route in a bunch formation, was completely free and then was simply faster than the secondary on the way to the end zone.
Ravens vs. Chiefs: Spectacular touchdowns after the break
In return, Jackson found a wide open Brown for a 42-yard touchdown who ran a post route out of the slot and was criminally left alone in the middle of the field. The Charvarius Ward, presumably assigned to him, played zone and simply let the receiver pass. The play was particularly impressive because of Jackson’s jump pass, which initiated the whole action.
A little later, the Chiefs benefited from the blind understanding between Mahomes and Kelce – Kelce ran an out route, then orientated himself inwards using body deception, while Mahomes broke out of the pocket and then alluded to Kelce. Then, with the help of a couple of blockers, he marched across the square to a 46-yard touchdown. 35:24 Chiefs.
The game was not over, because shortly afterwards the Ravens managed an interception – after delayed pressure from rooki linebacker Odafe Oweh, Mahomes tried an adventurous pass in the fall, which landed near the center line at defensive back Tavon Young. Then the Ravens marched towards the Red Zone, from where they found the end zone at the beginning of the fourth quarter through Jackson via read option keeper and were back in the game. The subsequent 2-point conversion went wrong twice – at the first attempt Guard Kevin Zeitler was “ineligible downfield”, at the second attempt Jackson threw a pick.
The Chiefs didn’t get very far after that and punted the ball back to the Ravens, who marched relentlessly. In the end, Jackson jumped effortlessly by somersault after another read option keeper from the 1 into the end zone for the touchdown – but another missed 2-point conversion kept the now gained advantage at only one point – 3:14 minutes before the end of the game.
The Chiefs made their way to the decisive field goal, but running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire lost a fumble in the opposing half, the Ravens conquered him and then played the clock down, also because they played a 4th and 1 instead of that Punch the ball back to the Chiefs with 1:05 minutes to play. That succeeded and so the first Chiefs bankruptcy of the season was sealed.
Baltimore Ravens (1-1) – Kansas City Chiefs (1-1)
Result: 36:35 (4:14, 10: 7, 7:14, 12: 0) BOXSCORE
Ravens vs. Chiefs – the most important statistics
- On Kelce’s touchdown, Kelce scored 43 yards after the catch. According to Next Gen Stats that was +27 YAC over expected. In addition, the probability of catching a touchdown on this play was 3.3 percent.
- Pringle’s probability of a touchdown was only 0.7 percent at the catch. The chance of catching the ball, however, was very high, because Pringle had 6.9 yards separation from the next defender, who was linebacker Patrick Queen in the case.
- Mahomes’ interception by Tavon Young was the first pick Mahomes ever thrown in September. On the other hand, there are now 38 touchdowns. It was also Mahomes’ first loss in September. Before that he was 11-0.
- For Jackson, meanwhile, it was the first victory ever in a direct duel with Mahomes. He had lost all of the first three.
The star of the game: Odafe Oweh (Linebacker, Ravens)
Lamar Jackson (18/26, 239 YDS, TD, 2 INT / 16 CAR, 107 YDS, 2 TD) made a spectacular game and more than made up for his early interceptions and misses on 2-point conversions, but the Ravens win this one Don’t play without rookie Odafe Oweh’s two big plays. It was he who made the interception of Mahomes possible with his Pressure. And it was he who forced and conquered the fumble against Edwards-Helaire when the Chiefs were on their way to the decisive field goal in the fourth quarter. Special praise also goes to John Harbaugh, who decided against a punt at the very end and let play the fourth attempt. The risk that Mahomes would turn the game around with a minute on the clock was simply too great.
Flop of the game: Chris Jones (Edge-Rusher, Chiefs)
Jones also represents the entire defensive front of the Chiefs, which has given up 251 rushing yards (6.1 yards per carry). But Jones is singled out because he wasn’t a factor now as an edge defender against a backup right tackle (Mekari). Jones, who was a power inside, saw no land outside, had no tackle and no pressure in the entire game. Sometimes he didn’t even know what was happening to him and basically didn’t help at all against the run.
Analysis: Ravens vs. Chiefs – the tactics board
- The Ravens are known as one of the most aggressive defenses in the NFL when it comes to lightning. Mahomes, however, is basically immune to lightning. This ensured that the Ravens almost completely dispensed with additional rushers. Before the break, they only sent the flash once at all. After the break they became more aggressive, which Mahomes punished directly – Pringle’s touchdown was ultimately also the result of a Nickle lightning bolt.
- The Ravens Defense relied on a so-called Layered Pass Rush. The pressure was symbolic of this, because rookie Odafe Oweh created before Mahomes’ interception. After the 3-man rush from the front, Oweh came through from his edge position with some delay to Mahomes in the middle. The idea behind this is that Mahomes usually does the most damage with his second step forward within the pocket. Accordingly, it makes sense to only apply pressure when you start taking the second step forward.
The Chiefs did well against the pass, but struggled with read options and RPO runs on the ground. This was also due to the fact that the Ravens’ offensive line repeatedly succeeded in closing the edges or misdirectioning the defense on the wrong track. It was also never possible to tell from where exactly a blocker was being pulled.
- The Ravens had to do without the injured left tackle Ronnie Stanley. As a result, new signing Alejandro Villanueava moved from Right Tackle to the left – a role he had played for the Pittsburgh Steelers for years. Patrick Mekari, who was still active as a center last year, therefore played on the right.
- In terms of personnel, the Ravens actually played consistently in a sub-package, which often allowed the chiefs to gain space on the floor. In addition, they often operated with shorter passports and screens. Meanwhile, the main focus of the defense was on Tyreek Hill, which was mostly covered twice with safety assistance. That left the middle distance and the middle of the field open to the other receivers.
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