The Baltimore Ravens (7-5) will head to Arrowhead Stadium to meet the Kansas City Chiefs (10-2) in Week 14 (December 9, 2018 at 1:00pm EST). The Ravens opened as 6.5-point underdogs, despite riding a three-game win streak.
Baltimore’s offense is dependent on their ability to run the ball. They average 24.8 points per game (13th), chiefly due to their eighth-ranked rushing attack. Now led by undrafted rookie RB Gus Edwards and dual-threat QB Lamar Jackson, the Ravens rack up 129.2 yards per game on the ground.
Edwards has piled up 379 yards on just 76 carries and is averaging over 100 YPG the last three weeks. Jackson, meanwhile, has recorded at least 70 rushing yards in all three of his starts, finding the end zone twice on the ground..
But even if Baltimore’s offense stumbles, their defense is good enough to keep them in just about any game. The Ravens are only giving up 17.8 PPG, best in the NFL.
This defense is built to defend the pass. Baltimore only cedes 194.4 passing yards per game (2nd). But based off their scoring average, opposing teams obviously aren’t having their way on the ground, either.
Baltimore’s defense has its work cut out for it this week against a Kansas City offense that is scoring points at will. Thanks to a potent aerial attack, the Chiefs are scoring 37.0 points per game (first). Patrick Mahomes has been outstanding for Kansas City this year, amassing 3,923 yards through the air (2nd) with a 41:10 touchdown to interception ratio, good for a 118.1 passer rating.
Mahomes would certainly admit he’s received a lot of help from his pass-catchers, though, specifically Tyreek Hill. His go-to receiver has brought in 66 passes for 1,119 receiving yards (5th) and 11 TDs this season. But even if Mahomes is a little off, the Chiefs remain dangerous when turning to the ground game. At least, they did while Kareem Hunt was leading the backfield. As a team, Kansas City averages a very respectable 4.9 yards per carry (fifth in the league).
However, Spencer Ware only tallied 47 yards on 14 carries against the Raiders last week (3.4 YPC). It remains to be seen how potent the running game is against quality competition now that Hunt has been released.
There’s not many positive discussions you can have involving the Chiefs defense. They’re giving up an unacceptable 27.3 PPG, which is 27th in the league. Teams are able to score with such ease because they can attack in whichever way they please. Kansas City gives up 295.0 passing yards per game (32nd) and 122.0 rushing (22nd). It appears the biggest threat to Joe Flacco’s numbers this week is Alex Collins having too big of a game, and vice versa.
The last time these two teams played was December 20th, 2015, when Kansas City walked all over Baltimore 34-14. The Chiefs were also 6.5-point favorites in that game.