The Baltimore Ravens quietly had one of the league’s top defenses in 2020. Will the defense make the jump into the elite territory?
Whenever the Chiefs match up against the Ravens, it is usually required viewing for many NFL fans. Such a must-see game would normally be more competitive.
Patrick Mahomes has never lost against Baltimore, going 3-0 since taking over the starting job in Kansas City. The Ravens have never had an answer for Mahomes, who has thrown for at least 374 years each meeting. Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell praised Mahomes following the Spet. 28, 2020 game.
Here’s what Campbell said, according to a report at MSN.com:
"“They don’t give that guy half a billion dollars for no reason. He’s an incredible talent, he just made play after play. I know who we are and what we’re capable of and he was able to go out there and do some great things against us so you’ve got to take your hat off to him and give him some respect.”"
In the most recent meeting, the Chiefs found a way to break the Ravens’ bend-but-don’t-break defense, especially on third down. The Ravens allowed the Chiefs to convert 10 of 13 third downs, including four from 9+ yards.
The 2020 meeting was certainly a one-sided affair.
Despite the history being against the Ravens, there is no denying the defense’s elite statistics in 2020. They were first in points allowed, averaging only 18.5 points per game and sixth in yards per play, allowing 5.1 yards per play. While the Ravens did lose Matthew Judon to free agency, they replaced him with Justin Houston and drafting Odafe Oweh. The progression of linebacker Patrick Queen will be key for the defensive unit, after a rollercoaster rookie season from him.
And then there is Marlon Humphery.
One of 2020’s best slot cornerbacks, Humphery could not do it all against the Chiefs. The tandem of Humphery and former Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters looks to lead this Ravens secondary into 2021. They will certainly feast against a schedule that includes Detroit, Denver, and Chicago.