The consensus picks to face off in the AFC championship this year, The Kansas City Chiefs and The Baltimore Ravens met in primetime on Monday night, and the Chiefs won handily, with a final score of 34-20. While the game might not have been the pulse-pounding shootout we had hoped for, it was still a prime time match up between two of the best teams in the NFL. Which means we learned a thing or two about both teams.
1. Lamar Struggles To Hit Important throws
Something many people thought Lamar Jackson might struggle with coming out of college, and something he clearly struggled with during the Ravens playoff loss last year, is consistency on making the big throws in a game. Don’t get me wrong, the Ravens offense can be explosive, and a lot of that is based around Lamar and his ability to go from zero to sixty in no time, and how he slips away from tacklers. However, the NFL has shown us throughout its history that you need more than that, and we saw that last night. 9 carries for 83 yards is pretty good, 15 completions on 28 attempts for just 97 yards? Not so much. The plays were there at times last night, some needed more zip on the ball, some needed a softer touch. Whatever the case, Lamar didn’t hit the big throws.
2. This Is NOT The Next Brady-Manning
The media seems to be obsessed with making Mahomes and Jackson a real Rivalry, and constantly comparing it to the Brady-Manning Rivalry, and it is just not the same thing. For one it’s not even a rivalry yet as Lamar‘s Ravens have yet to beat Mahomes Chiefs and they haven’t even met in the playoffs yet. Furthermore, Brady and Manning were two of the best to ever do it, at the top of their game, basically playing a game of chess. Mahomes and Jackson are a different style of play, and they’re not so evenly matched. Mahomes is far and away the better quarterback here, and showed it last night, going 31-42 for 385 yards and 4 touchdowns, and a rushing touchdown. Also one of his four passes was to an offensive lineman, and I love a Big Man TD.
3. Chris Jones Was Worth The Money
The Chiefs Front Office apparently had a stable connection to the EA servers this offseason and turned their salary cap off to make their key signings, including a historic contract for Mahomes and then a surprise hefty extension for Defensive Lineman Chris Jones. Last night both those contracts looked to be worth it, as Mahomes went off and Jones at times appeared to be an immovable force. The biggest highlight for Jones on the night was a sack of Lamar Jackson from behind, fighting through several blockers and chasing the reigning MVP down from behind, and knocking the ball loose. The ball may have gone out of bounds, but it could have been a fumble recovery for KC, and that’s the kind of play they paid Jones for.
Side Note: 93 percent of bettors took the Over on 54 total points and the score came just even if it. Palaces are being built in the desert because of a missed extra point.
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