The Chiefs have a big test this week, going up the Lamar Jackson led Ravens. How can a defense that has struggled against every offense stop possibly the most unpredictable quarterback in the game right now? Hearing the team is facing back up quarterback should be met with a lot of cheers and fist pumps for most teams, but Lamar Jackson is a nightmare when defensive coordinators are game planning for him. There isn’t a plan for when an opposing quarterback runs it as much as Jackson. Also, you simply can’t just put a linebacker on him to spy him because it won’t work, He’s too fast. Factor all this in as well as remember that the Chiefs have a huge question mark at tailback and this becomes much more than a game versus a borderline wildcard team ( They’ll get in the playoffs in my opinion).
From an offensive standpoint, the Chiefs offense has remained the same even with the injuries to the interior of the offensive line and the dismissal of Kareem Hunt. There should be no doubt that the passing attack will have sucess against the Ravens. What should be more of a concern is the pass rush. With fourteen different players recording sacks the pressure can come from anywhere, but emphasis should be placed on the ageless Terrell Suggs. He always brings intensity and Mahomes will need to know where he is at all times. I think Spencer Ware’s day will consist of staying in and blocking/chipping Suggs. I say Ware because Kelce will create too many mismatches to keep on the line. After the Rams game a few weeks ago, the young Mahomes needs to be at the top of his game mentally as well as physically for this game. He can’t overthrow his best friend on the team this week.
On the defensive side of the ball, this is the first ever game where I think it would be better to contain the quarterback than go after him relentlessly. This is because the Chiefs gameplan should be for Lamar Jackson to beat them with his arm rather than his legs. Even if the defense is able to get their hands on Jackson they must wrap up. To put it into a comparison, the Mahomes’ deep ball and Jackson’s legs are equally as hard to defend. This is the one game where you want the starting quarterback to be healthy.
Will the Chiefs figure out the issues in the backfield? Will Lamar Jackson be kept in check? Certainly not as high scoring, this may be another game similar to the Rams contest a few weeks ago. But no matter the opponent Mahomes will be exciting to watch