I have been watching the game of football for nearly 40 years – and Kansas City ranks right up there with some of the all time great teams anyone cares to mention. Of course, there are still a handful of games left, putting aside perhaps a “flat” game somewhere – they have been a dangerous team, especially over the last 3 years.
Kansas City has not missed a beat after lighting up the NFL in scoring, no less than top 5 over the previous 2 seasons – ranking 1st through 10 games this year. They’re a daunting challenge for sure, they have the most passing yards and are tops in pct of drives ending in scoring, at 53.1%, in the NFL.
Right now we also have the Baltimore defense playing at a very high level, as they are 3rd in the league in passing yards per play given up at just 5.6, and have surrendered just 19.5ppg.
Brings up the question – which of these 2 teams “speciality” is the more dominant and wins?
The high octane offense of Kansas City – or the stifling defense of Baltimore?
Let’s be straight honest – the Chiefs offense is scary and more than imposing.
The Patrick Mahomes led scoring is some of the best offense I have ever watched in my 40 years of watching the game. Their team seems to excel at almost every position, there is barely any real weakness when Mahomes is running their smooth offense. He uses their weaponry to their advantage on the field – by busting outside arm throws, no look passes, and 50 yard bombs. He can diagnose what he is facing and then make a decision as quickly as possible. This, then brings up a really interesting thought – this Chiefs offense, the best scoring their fans have watched since the early 2000’s.
Kansas City have certainly been spreading the ball around this season, with several guys who can make the big play at any moment. Rookie RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire leads the team, as expected, in touches, with 169 – but they give opportunities to all of their players – they have players who all get their hands on the pigskin in Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, and Mecole Hardman. That leaves defense unsure as to who to double or who to give cushion to. When a team has so many guys who can move the ball, and can cause shocking damage, it changes everything for a defense.
It would be interesting to see if Kansas City ends up meeting the Ravens in the playoffs – we could see a great rivalry for many years to come between the 2 of them. Remember Kansas City wrecked their defense with ease back in week 3, and lit them up for 34 points, I am sure Baltimore remembers.
Then we have the nasty defense of Baltimore.
The Baltimore defense has given up just 195 points – and their gritty defense has gotten 23 turnovers, recently, including two on 11.8.2020 vs Indy. Baltimore has a couple of guys up at the line of scrimmage that can beat their man – especially Matt Judon and the 34 year old juggernaut, Calais Campbell, who have 8 sacks and 27 QB hits between the 2 of them alone. Calais Campbell missing time is going to affect this defense on a huge level – they absolutely need him to continue on their destructive path. Along with some great coverage defenders who can silence WRs – which makes them a scary staredown when lining up on offense. Any of their DBs can also attack the passer and cause more problems – this then becomes a very hard situation for an offense to try and contend with. Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey 7 forced fumbles between them – and they have 6 players with 5 or more QB hits – they come from everywhere.
They are a handful.
Defensive Coordinator Don Martindale has been great – he clearly gets his guys prepared, and has a great ability to get the team committed to being ready, meaning game ready. The Ravens scheme is built on keeping teams off the field and stopping QBs from getting good looks at the field, doing most of the damage – these are seriously strong areas for Baltimore – and they are still improving. These guys have a ton of tenacious gumption – these guys have it. They have a lot of it. They go out there and play hard – with the amount of dedication and heart they have shown – imagine what they can achieve.
The Ravens showcase a number of great strengths and very few weaknesses – having so many playmakers on D is something that most teams absolutely would love to have. They know if the offense isn’t playing perfectly – they can still do what they need to do, by holding teams to 20 or less on any given day, making things that much easier for Lamar Jackson and his guys.
Maybe, I’m biased, and it is likely, as I am an offensive guy first and foremost – with the mantra of a best defense is a strong offense. But looking at things on the scheme – right now – the Chiefs offense is the toughest in the league to have to deal with – because of excellent play calling and exceptionally hard schemes for teams to try and react to when their huge punches start landing.