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Chiefs-Ravens Instabreakdown: Tyrann Mathieu was the best player on defense

This was the Chiefs safety’s best game since joining the team.

Kansas City Chiefs v Oakland Raiders Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

Final score: Kansas City Chiefs 33, Baltimore Ravens 28

The Chiefs flexed again with a big second quarter to pull out ahead of the Ravens and held on in the second half in the battle of two undefeated teams.


Baltimore Ravens v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

The offense started slowly in both halves, but the Chiefs scored more than 26 points to continue the streak of a Patrick Mahomes-led offense not dipping below that mark.

Cam Erving got off to a brutal start, and the Chiefs opening drive stalled. He gave up one sack early and multiple pressures and quarterback hits, which ultimately forced the Chiefs to get him help by using chips and more quick-game passing. Mahomes’ mobility was tested, and he looked much improved over last week. He was able to create a little better than he was the week prior and it came in handy. The quarterback was getting hit way too much early, and the Chiefs adjusted. That didn’t slow down the offense though. The Chiefs exploded for 23 points in the second quarter.

Mahomes delivered one of his better throws of the season for a touchdown to Demarcus Robinson. He showed exceptional anticipation to get the ball out before Robinson broke for the corner. He later connected with Mecole Hardman for an 83-yard touchdown. Hardman has found all of his touches down the field or behind the line of scrimmage. It’s the perfect way to give him touches as he develops.

The Chiefs’ use of the screen game in the second half helped them ice the game. On a third-and-10 with 1:55 left in the game and up five, the Chiefs dialed up a screen to Darrel Williams, who converted for a first down. The Chiefs anticipated pressure from the Ravens, got it, and they won the game on an excellent play call.


Baltimore Ravens v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

The Chiefs defense started slowly in both halves as well, surrendering touchdowns on both opening drives. The run defense was poor for the majority of the game.

Tyrann Mathieu was the best player on the defense Sunday. His impact was felt all over the field — in coverage, pressuring the quarterback, you name it. He had three pass deflections, blitzing in the first half and nearly intercepted a pass in the red zone on a critical down in the fourth quarter. His running mate at safety, Juan Thornhill, also put together another solid performance. The rookie was in good position for most of the game and had his hands on a couple of footballs. If he can finish a couple tackles, he could have ended the game with a sack and big third down stop to his name.

Frank Clark has drawn the ire of Chiefs fans with his quiet stat sheets, but he came through with a big sack late in the game. The Ravens had a hard time running against Clark for the vast majority of the game and was getting special attention in pass protection throughout the contest.

Emmanuel Ogbah was traded for Eric Murray this offseason, and the Chiefs have already won the trade. Ogbah has been excellent in a limited role. He got 1.5 sacks, three quarterback hits and a pass deflection this week.

Overall, the Chiefs did an adequate job in coverage on the Ravens with two of the more prominent passing plays on the day coming from ball thrown up by quarterback Lamar Jackson. The Chiefs’ most significant issue was making plays on the ball, as both catches were avoidable. Most of the Ravens’ pass production game in catch-up mode.

It was a solid performance against a tough opponent, and the Chiefs now turn the page to the undefeated Detroit Lions. Yes, you read that correctly.

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