The Kansas City Chiefs came away with a massive victory in their pursuit of the No. 1 seed in the AFC with an evisceration of the Baltimore Ravens on the road, on Monday Night Football. The game wasn’t as close as the 34-20 score showed — the Chiefs dominated in every fashion and we broke it down on a joyful episode of the AP Laboratory.
Here are three of our big takeaways:
Patrick Lavon Mahomes is the best player in the world
It can’t be a rivalry if it’s lopsided.
The Lamar Jackson-Patrick Mahomes debate is over until at the earliest a possible rematch in the AFC championship game. Mahomes was masterful in dismantling the Ravens defense — throwing for 385 yards and four touchdowns while adding in a running touchdown for good measure. He outplayed Jackson by a country mile. Despite all the media hype, it was an obvious, one-sided affair. Mahomes was in control from the start and didn’t make many mistakes. He ran the ball when the opportunity presented itself, he took the underneath receivers when he needed to, and he made some of the spectacular throws that separate him from the rest of the league. The narratives keep getting made, and Mahomes keeps killing them. He’s the best in the world.
Steve Spagnuolo out-coached Greg Roman
Can we talk about how the vaunted Ravens offense wasn’t able to muster a touchdown until the fourth quarter?
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo called a masterful game against Baltimore offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s versatile attack. The running game was working at a clip of 7.5 yards per carry, but the Chiefs buttoned up in the red zone and held the Ravens to field goals until the fourth quarter.
A lot of that can be attributed to the pass defense. Frank Clark and Chris Jones — when healthy — are proving to be a terrifying duo (they combined for three sacks on the night). The rush up front was controlled to the quarterback, and the coverage was strong throughout the game. The linebackers even made a couple of plays on the football in pass coverage.
Willie Gay took some reps away from Ben Niemann
It took a few weeks, but Willie Gay is starting to get more opportunities — replacing Ben Niemann as the base WILL linebacker after the first series. Niemann continues to struggle as a tackler in the first drive of the game — missing an opportunity to stop the Ravens short of the sticks and get them off the field. It was Gay’s turn the next series.
It wasn’t a pretty performance by any stretch of the imagination for the rookie, but the Chiefs should be allowing him to fail on the field. Gay plays fast and with outstanding effort. It won’t always be perfect, and he’ll make some mistakes, but in the long run, it’s best for this team that he catches up to speed on the field.
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