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Chiefs-Ravens AFC Championship predictions from Arrowhead Pride

Let’s see what AP staffers (and readers) think about Sunday’s game between Kansas City and Baltimore.

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

Before the Divisional Round of the AFC playoffs, everyone on our panel of contributors thought it would be a close game between the Kansas City City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills. Two of them (and a similar percentage of our readers) even predicted a Buffalo victory. As a group, we called for a 24-21 Kansas City win. That was only six points removed from the 27-24 final, making it our best group prediction of the season. Stephen Serda and Matt Stagner’s picks (each with six points of error) were the closest individual predictions, while the picks by Rocky Magaña, Jared Sapp and Ron Kopp each missed by only eight points.

For the sixth straight season, that brings us to the AFC Championship, where the Chiefs are on the road against the Baltimore Ravens. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Baltimore is favored by four points.

Let’s see what the staff — and our readers — think about the matchup.

Nate Christensen (@natech32)

The Chiefs proved me wrong. I didn’t think they could beat a truly elite playoff team like the Buffalo Bills — but they did it on the road in primetime. Regardless of whether this season ends successfully or not, I fully admit I didn’t see that coming. I am, however, picking the Ravens for this game — not because I don’t think the Chiefs can beat them, but because this Baltimore squad is one of the best I’ve ever seen. By DVOA, it measures as an all-time great team. If the Chiefs win, will — by far — be their most impressive win of the last six years. But I trust the Ravens’ talent — and their coaching staff — to win over 60 minutes.

Ravens 30, Chiefs 23

John Dixon (@Arrowheadphones)

This looks like the most difficult game the Chiefs will face this season. It might even be tougher than any matchup Kansas City could face if they make it to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas. On paper, this looks like a game that Baltimore should win; we’d be fools to think it can’t happen. But that means it will be a very close contest — and while Lamar Jackson has had a great season, Patrick Mahomes has once again made me a believer. In a close game with everything on the line — and a chance to redeem himself after an uncharacteristic season — I just can’t pick against him.

Chiefs 27, Ravens 24

Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp)

The Divisional Round felt like a milestone in Patrick Mahomes’ unbelievable career. The road playoff win is further proof that he is a legendary quarterback — but as we after the 13-second game against the Bills, those moments don’t always end with a championship. The Ravens are superior to any of the three teams that Kansas City’s starters have beaten in their current winning streak. Baltimore has the talent to take advantage of where the Chiefs will be vulnerable. I see them killing the buzz of a confident Chiefs Kingdom.

Ravens 27, Chiefs 20

Rocky Magaña (@RockyMagana)

I’ll admit it: a couple of months ago, I didn’t think the Chiefs would be here. No matter how many times Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid prove me wrong, I somehow let the old pessimist in me creep into the forefront. But Kansas City is here — playing with house money — and it’s in too deep to get scared now. I believe winning and confidence are a learned trait. There is a reason that some talented franchises (like the Chargers) underperform year after year. The Chiefs are the opposite of that. In a do-or-die game, give me the team that’s proven it can get the job done.

Chiefs 24, Ravens 20

Jared Sapp (@TrumanChief)

I’m going to have to be realistic. Baltimore has important advantages, including homefield, rest — and most importantly, health — in its favor. But even though some national pundits have (laughably) suggested it will happen, I do not see the Chiefs getting blown out. I do think, however, that the Ravens have the talent to present significant challenges on both sides of the ball. Can Kansas City pull it off? Certainly. If they do, no one should be surprised. But the Ravens are rightfully favored. The most difficult-to-predict variable will be the pressure. The Chiefs are definitely “playing with house money.” The Ravens — especially Lamar Jackson — will need to overcome the pressure of finally meeting postseason expectations. I anticipate that they will — but if they’re not, the Chiefs will be ready to take advantage.

Ravens 27, Chiefs 23

Stephen Serda (@StephenSerda)

This is the Chiefs' toughest postseason test yet — and I think the Ravens are a tremendous team. Their defense is loaded with elite playmakers — and in today’s NFL, Lamar Jackson is one of the truly special players. Going on the road against the Baltimore defense seems like a tall task for the Chiefs, but I think there’s been a little too much doubt floating around this week. I think the Ravens have matchup advantages in this game — but with Mahomes playing at this level, the Kansas City offense should not be taken lightly. meanwhile, the Chiefs' defense is much closer to the Ravens than many would have you believe. All of that means this game has all the makings of Kansas City upset in Baltimore. I think it will be a hard-fought game — but at the end of the day, I simply can’t bet against playoff Patrick Mahomes.

Chiefs 28, Ravens 24

Matt Stagner (@stagdsp)

It’s weird to say that the defending champs are playing with house money — or that they’re the underdogs or that I don’t expect them to win. But I think all of those things are true this week. This season, Baltimore has been the more dominant team. It has the best defense and the (presumed) MVP — along with some talented young pass-catchers. Still, the Chiefs seem to be peaking at the right time — with better vibes than we have seen all season. Playoff Patrick Mahomes, playoff Travis Kelce, playoff Isiah Pacheco and playoff Chris Jones have stepped up their games. They should all be expected to be great against the Ravens. It’s going to be a big test. But if the Kansas City offensive line can hold up without Joe Thuney — and the defense can tackle Lamar Jackson — it should be a close game. And in a close game, championship experience means something. I don’t expect a win — but I could see it happening.

Chiefs 31, Ravens 24

Pete Sweeney (@pgsween)

A week ago, I picked against the Chiefs. I thought it could go either way. Playing at home, however, tipped the scale towards the Bills. I feel similarly about this game — especially since there is a case to be made that the last time the Kansas City offense looked as in rhythm as it did in Buffalo was way back in Week 7. The Ravens’ defense is healthier than that of the Dolphins and the Bills — which, quite honestly, worries me — but I am not going to make the mistake of picking against Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid again. I also think there is an advantage to nearly every key player on the Chiefs has already played in a bigger game than this one: Super Bowl LVII in Phoenix. Give me Kansas City to find a way — somehow, some way — in their toughest test yet.

Chiefs 24, Ravens 23

Prop bets (from Pete Sweeney)

Head on over to DraftKings Sportsbook and take... the Kelce and Rice overs.

  • Travis Kelce O61.5 receiving yards (-135)
  • Rashee Rice O59.5 receiving yards (-125)


Which team wins Chiefs (13-6) at Ravens (14-4)?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Chiefs in a blowout (14 or more points)
    (140 votes)
  • 8%
    Chiefs in an easy win (8-13 points)
    (253 votes)
  • 58%
    Chiefs in a close game (7 or fewer points)
    (1804 votes)
  • 16%
    Ravens in close game
    (522 votes)
  • 8%
    Ravens in an easy win
    (268 votes)
  • 2%
    Ravens in a blowout
    (89 votes)
3076 votes total Vote Now

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