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Chiefs-Ravens rapid reaction: Patrick Mahomes 3, Lamar Jackson 0

One of the Most Valuable Players is not like the other.

Kansas City Chiefs v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Well, that was a lot closer than it needed to be.

On the national stage, the Kansas City Chiefs absolutely came out firing on all cylinders — and the defense held up their end of the bargain, too, holding the prolific Lamar Jackson-Ravens offense to just 229 yards. All week, many national talking heads made the Ravens out to be no-brainer favorites, capped off by the ESPN “Monday Night Football” crew sweeping picks in their direction.

But that ending wasn’t to be.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid called a marvelous game, seemingly out-scheming Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martindale on every possession. The only time the game became close was because of self-inflicted wounds — allowing a kick-return touchdown at an inopportune time, losing a fumble made by a backup running back and calling a fourth-down run by Anthony Sherman. That play-call is probably one that Reid maybe wishes he could get back.

Had the Chiefs not made those correctable mistakes, it would have been a blowout. 34-20 does not do justice to what happened in Baltimore.

Patrick Mahomes is now 3-0 against Lamar Jackson —so perhaps that debate is now over for at least a while. Mahomes finished the game with more than 500 total yards and five touchdowns; Jackson scored once — and he did not break 100 passing yards.

Coming into the game, the Chiefs defense looked as though it could be severely out-matched by the Ravens after struggling to tackle well in the first two games of the season. Although Jackson rushed for 83 yards, no Baltimore running back rushed for more than 40 — and every pass-catcher was held to 38 or fewer receiving yards.

Rookie cornerback L’Jarius Sneed nearly had his third interception in as many games, defensive tackle Chris Jones showed why he is one of the best at his position in the league and defensive end Frank Clark resumed his closer role, getting a critical sack on a fourth-quarter, third-and-14 play to seal the game.

On Monday night, the Chiefs simply out-classed the only AFC team previously assumed to be in their class.

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