Ravens defensive coordinator calls Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes the new Bill Walsh and Joe Montana

As Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs continue their ascent to the top of the AFC with an eye on the top seed, their next target of destruction is a Baltimore Ravens team fighting for a mere playoff spot. The two teams will meet in Kansas City at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday in a game that can be streamed live on CBS All Access or fuboTV (Try for free).

As the Ravens prepare for the Chiefs' unstoppable offense, they're well aware of the challenge that lies ahead. Just listen to Ravens defensive coordinator Don Martindale talk about Mahomes and Andy Reid. On Thursday, he called Mahomes and Reid the new Joe Montana and Bill Wash -- two Hall of Famers who led the 49ers to Super Bowl after Super Bowl in the 1980s before Montana eventually completed his career where Mahomes is building his own legend. 

"I think Mahomes is [Joe] Montana -- I'm taking about the San Francisco Montana and not the Kansas City Montana," Martindale said, per ESPN. "I think how everything is cyclical and history repeats itself. I think you're seeing that combination between Andy [Reid] and Mahomes of Montana and Bill Walsh. I really do."

Meanwhile, Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith called Mahomes a "more athletic" Brett Favre, and safety Eric Weddle described him  as "wise beyond his years" due to "the way he controls the line of scrimmage, the way he checks, the audibles, snap count, the way he moves the safeties with his looks and his dropbacks." 

It's taken less than a year as a starting quarterback in the NFL for Mahomes to emerge as one of the best quarterbacks in football and earn comparisons to Hall of Famers. None of them are wrong, of course. The praise is warranted.

Through three-quarters of the season, Mahomes has been the best quarterback in the league. He's completing 66.9 percent of his passes for 3,923 yards, a league-high 41 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and a 118.1 passer rating. He's thrown as many touchdowns as Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady ... combined. According to Football Outsiders' more advanced metrics, he's been the league's top quarterback. He's our unanimous selection for MVP at this point in the season, holding off Drew Brees in our latest ballot. He's on pace to finish with 5,230 yards and nearly 55 touchdowns, which would be a historically great season up there with Peyton Manning's 2013 season.

On Sunday, Mahomes will face a tough test against a Ravens defense ranked first in both yards and points allowed. To add to the pressure, the Chargers are only a game behind the Chiefs in the AFC West with a Week 15 rematch on the horizon while the Patriots trail the Chiefs by a game in the race for the top seed. Despite how good the Chiefs have been, their competition in the AFC isn't lagging that far behind them. And as Brees learned last week, all it takes is one bad game to get jumped on the MVP leaderboard.

If the Chiefs want to earn the top seed in the conference and if Mahomes wants to capture MVP, they can't afford to slip up against a tough Ravens team that is currently clinging to the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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