Baltimore Ravens safety Earl Thomas attracted national attention Wednesday thanks a comment he made regarding the Kansas City Chiefs during a media availability. His Ravens travel to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.
Will the Ravens be able to slow down Patrick Mahomes? Who knows. We won't find out until Sunday. But this Earl Thomas quote is straight fire. pic.twitter.com/g1A4BtnLWj— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) September 18, 2019
When asked about the Chiefs offense, the six-time Pro Bowler and five-time All-Pro answered by making a bold statement.
“Luckily the Ravens have me playing free safety, controlling the deep end,” Thomas told BaltimoreRavens.com. “I plan on eliminating all the big plays.”
Through the season’s first two weeks, Thomas has allowed just one reception and has recorded one interception—the pick happened early in the Ravens’ 59-10 win over the Miami Dolphins.
This past Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, Thomas’ success continued — so much so that his teammate, second-year safety DeShon Elliot, was caught on mic complaining that he hadn’t heard Thomas’ named called by the announcers for a registered tackle yet.
“That’s a good thing; I play free safety,” Thomas said. “That’s a good thing.”
So yes, Thomas has plenty reason to be confident.
But should he be this confident heading into a matchup with the reigning MVP Patrick Mahomes who has shown no sign of slowing down in 2019? The Chiefs are already averaging 34 points and 479 yards per game.
Mahomes didn’t feel the need to fire back.
“They have a great defense and Earl has been a great player for a long time,” Mahomes said when asked about Thomas’ quote. “For us, we’re just going to try to do our job, move the ball down the field whatever way possible and hopefully hit some of those plays.”
Obviously, Mahomes was being bashful. Of his seven touchdowns this year, only one has been under 27 yards. Instead, the Chiefs quarterback went as far as complimenting Thomas, who — don’t forget — was very nearly a Chief this offseason before the Ravens swooped in.
“He’s obviously very smart,” Mahomes added. “He’s physically very gifted. He can do a lot of different things. He’s able to recognize routes and break on them fast. You see that type of stuff and you think there’s times where you can shoot some balls into some different seams and he makes plays on them. He’s a guy that’s been doing it for a while now and he has a lot of talent.”
“You’re talking about an All-Pro player,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid added. “Good football player. Smart. He’s a good player, playing well right now.”
As to be expected, no bulletin board material coming out of Kansas City; Mahomes and Reid would rather let the game do the talking.
But it is a point to watch on Sunday.