Shoutout to the flock ya held it down 🤞🏾 Stadium was jumping— Tavon Young (@TY_Real1) September 20, 2021
The Baltimore Ravens overcame a slow start and ended the night with their first victory over Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs, evening their record at 1-1 thanks to a thrilling 36-35 comeback victory in front of the home crowd at M&T Bank Stadium.
Lamar Jackson was picked off both on the opening drive of the game and later in the first half -- each time by Tyrann Mathieu -- but he battled back, tossing a touchdown pass and running for two others, and also picked up a game-sealing first down with less than a minute to go in the game. Jackson's heroics put the Ravens in position to win the game, but it was rookie edge rusher Odafe Oweh who made what might have been the biggest play of the night, forcing a Clyde Edwards-Helaire fumble with the Chiefs in field-goal range and the clock winding down.
Here are some takeaways from Sunday night's prime-time clash:
Why the Ravens won
You have to start with Jackson. Early on, he looked as if he might be the reason the Ravens would lose, throwing a pair of picks to Mathieu -- one of which came against triple coverage near the end zone. But as the night wore on, he got better, and his legs were in peak form during crunch time, leading Baltimore's rushing attack and sealing the victory with both the go-ahead score and clinching fourth-down conversion. He was clearly motivated to prove himself here, and it showed. Coach John Harbaugh also deserves plenty of props for putting the ball in Lamar's hands with the game on the line, choosing to trust his playmaker rather than give Mahomes and Andy Reid spare time for a comeback. Push from the O-line helped, as did some nice gains from all three pieces of the team's makeshift running back rotation, as well as steady separation from Marquise Brown. The defense was arguably just as impressive, even on a night in which it allowed 35 points. For a while, the unit held Mahomes and Co. to shorter stuff, and then, despite injuries on the back end, stood tall with late-game pass deflections and a pick -- Mahomes' first-ever in September.
Why the Chiefs lost
Aside from Mathieu, who stayed around the ball, their defense was a step behind for much of the contest. That's often true of teams who play Jackson, but even knowing Baltimore would be run-heavy, they couldn't contain Ty'Son Williams, Latavius Murray or even Devonta Freeman. If they got any significant push up front, it wasn't evident. Offensively, Mahomes was Mahomes, and the Chiefs were obviously in the mix until the end, but No. 15 got a little too silly with some of his acrobatic efforts, throwing a late pick and nearly tossing another rather than living for another down. Edwards-Helaire, meanwhile, coughed up the ball at probably the worst time late in the fourth.
The Chiefs moved easily into Ravens territory for the final two minutes of action, threatening to run out the clock on their way to a game-winning field goal. In possession with 1:25 to go, from Baltimore's 32, they instead fell victim to Ravens rookie Oweh, who beat Orlando Brown Jr. to force the Edwards-Helaire fumble, then recover the ball himself. From there, the Ravens went on to run the clock out themselves.
Play of the game
This game was chock-full of big plays (it's Lamar and Mahomes!), but let's give Travis Kelce some respect for sprinting and bouncing his way through the entire Ravens defense, before Baltimore came back to win it:
The Ravens (1-1) will hit the road in Week 3, when they visit the Lions (0-1), who close out Week 2 on Monday against the Packers. The Chiefs (1-1), meanwhile, will return home for a divisional showdown with the Chargers (1-1), who are fresh off a close defeat at the hands of the Cowboys.