When the Kansas City Chiefs meet the Baltimore Ravens on Monday night, most eyes will be focused on quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. And why not? Mahomes was the NFL MVP in 2018. Jackson won the award the following season — the same one in which Mahomes became Super Bowl MVP. There’s not much doubt they are the stars of their respective teams.
But for all the talk of the “matchup” between them, they won’t be on the field at the same time. A better, actual matchup might be found between Mahomes — who has thrown just 18 interceptions over his 33-game NFL career — and Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters, who has intercepted 28 over 79 games. That’s the most of any defensive back since 2015.
One of those was against Mahomes in the 2018 shootout between the Chiefs and the Los Angeles Rams, in which the Chiefs quarterback committed five turnovers — but also threw six touchdown passes.
As a former Chief — Peters played three seasons in Kansas City after being selected in the first round (18th overall) in the 2015 NFL draft — he and Mahomes know each other well from being teammates after Mahomes was selected 10th overall in 2017.
“I remember when he first started throwing the damn no-look pass at practice — and he’s been doing it since he was a rookie,” said Peters of Mahomes this week via BaltimoreRavens.com. “So, the dude is amazing.”
Peters said that Mahomes’ talent was obvious even on the practice field during his rookie season.
“I wouldn’t say I knew [he would be so successful],” acknowledged Peters, “but I knew he had the talent. I knew he loved the game. So that’s two ultimate things that can help you. I just respect somebody who loves the game of football like he does, man.”
Peters said he knows that stopping Mahomes on Monday night will take more than just his own effort.
“I think the beautiful thing about football is that it’s a team game. So for us, it’s going to start with us having the D-line doing their job of keeping him in the pocket — containing him — and us on the back end plastering and getting into our coverage.”
Just the same, Peters admitted it will be a tall order.
“The guy is a Super Bowl champ,” he said. “He’s an MVP of this league. He’s a hell of a player, man. A guy like that, you’ve just got to respect his game.”