Chiefs vs. Ravens final score: Patrick Mahomes outplays Lamar Jackson as Kansas City rolls past Baltimore
In the battle of the MVPs, Andy Reid's squad was clearly the superior squad Monday night
Both Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes are ranked among the NFL's top quarterbacks -- not only in 2020 but perhaps of their time. But only one of them found success in the prime-time lights of "Monday Night Football" to close Week 3. Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens started hot with a promising opening drive to score first at home, but it was Mahomes who stole the show in a battle of former league MVPs, totaling five touchdowns in easily his best bid to recapture hardware in 2020. Helped by a Chiefs defense that completely stymied Baltimore's passing attack, Mahomes and Andy Reid got the better of John Harbaugh's club in the potential AFC Championship preview, with the visiting Chiefs claiming a 34-20 victory to improve to 3-0.
Here are some immediate takeaways from Monday night's thriller:
Why the Chiefs won
Patrick Mahomes, who became the fastest QB to reach 10,000 yards passing for a career (34 games) during the first half, was apparently determined to prove his superiority in a game featuring two former MVPs at quarterback, and boy did he do just that. No. 15 simply could not be contained, even by a talented Baltimore "D." His trademark arm was on display for a handful of perfect deep balls, and his legs were also an underrated factor throughout the night, contributing to a truly MVP-caliber five-touchdown night. It didn't matter who he was throwing to -- Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, Eric Fisher (!). The accuracy was there. The touch was there. He was nearly flawless. K.C. also benefited from Clyde Edwards-Helaire's obvious versatility, with the rookie gashing the Ravens on the ground and out wide, while the defense was practically just as imposing, or at least when it mattered most. Led by veterans Frank Clark and Chris Jones, who combined for three sacks, the Chiefs left Lamar Jackson frequently frustrated, almost entirely eliminating Baltimore's downfield passing game.
Why the Ravens lost
Lamar Jackson may be among the NFL's most electrifying talents, but Monday was not his night. The QB's freakish speed was on display plenty of times, and right out of the gate, it looked as if it might lead Baltimore to a big home victory. Through the air, however, he was virtually a non-factor, connecting best with running back J.K. Dobbins while failing to hit on several late-game deep shots. Jackson's legs also worked against him in some cases, with the QB basically running himself out of a clean pocket and into trouble, particularly as the game neared its end. Somehow, early on, the Ravens got away from their run-heavy attack despite flashes from both Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards, and they could never recover. Defensively, it's hard to blame them for failing to slow a talent like Mahomes, but still, you can't expect to blow that many coverages and win a shootout. Allowing K.C. to convert on nearly all of their third downs, they struggled mightily to keep the ball in Jackson's hands as time wore on.
The Ravens had almost all of the momentum about halfway through the second quarter. Devin Duvernay had just returned a kickoff 93 yards for a TD to bring the team within three. The defense forced a three-and-out right afterward. But then, despite a promising run-first drive to open the game and get themselves on the board, the Ravens inexplicably dialed up three straight passing plays. Jackson hit the first, then misfired on targets to both Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews, setting up the Ravens' own punt. Just like that, a chance to really flip the script fell flat, and K.C. proceeded to respond with a six-play, 75-yard TD drive to bust things open.
Play of the game
You could've picked any one of Mahomes' TD passes, but his moon shot to Hardman probably takes the cake, even though Tyreek Hill's own scoring catch was a much tougher reception. First, Mahomes backpedaled more than you'd like to see your QB do, but then out came this year's second-longest completion in terms of air yards traveled:
The Chiefs (3-0) will return home in Week 4 to host the New England Patriots (2-1), who just outlasted the Las Vegas Raiders. The Ravens (2-1), meanwhile, will hit the road to take on the Washington Football Team (1-2), which has surrendered at least 30 points in two straight losses.
Patrick Mahomes: 31/42 385 yds 4 TDs
Lamar Jackson: 15/28 97 yds 1 TD
Those stats are going to be what we talk about moving forward. The Ravens closed as favorites but the Chiefs certainly had something to say about that. A dominant victory against the reigning MVP.
Thanks for joining us! Relive all the action in the live blog and check back later, as we have takeaways coming up.
The Chiefs have dominated on critical downs: K.C. has converted eight of their 10 third-down situations, while Baltimore has moved the chains just three times on their nine third-downs. Both are 0-1 on fourth down.
This is the play I keep flashing back to. Game might have been different if he hit this throw.
Remember Taco Charlton? He was in on that play. The former Dallas Cowboys first-round pick was reunited with his old teammate Frank Clark -- who is convinced he can turn him into a star.
Lamar Jackson has had three or so missed throws which would have led to big gains. His accuracy has been up and down tonight.
That was a drive fit for Super Bowl champions. In the midst of a one-score game, Mahomes and company marched 75 yards down the field, converted two third-down attempts, and finished it off with a touchdown. Also chewed 6:41 off the clock. That's what champs do.
Gotta love Andy Reid's play-calling. BIG GUY TOUCHDOWN. Eric Fisher acts like he blocking, releases and is wide open. You love to see it.
Raise your hand if you had Eric Fisher catching a touchdown pass against the Ravens. K.C. just pouring it on here.
If Mark Andrews is struggling, why not look towards Nick Boyle? All of a sudden this is a 7-point game. Baltimore's D needs another big stop, and they need to prepare for the play Mahomes and Co. are cooking up on the sideline right now.
Boy, if you needed a big night from Mark Andrews in fantasy ... I feel for you.
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