The Chiefs are basically the 2015-2019 Golden State Warriors.
The Warriors look sluggish in the first half, but then they rain down the fires of Hades for 12 minutes in the third quarter. After building a huge lead, the Warriors go back to sleep and close out the win. The Chiefs don’t wait as long to strike, filling up the scoreboard in the second quarter. For the Chiefs, the other three quarters do not really matter. The Chiefs score a ridiculous 56.4% of their points in the second quarter. Yes, it is only three games. Yes, this is an aberration. I still found it meaningful enough to consume a couple of hundred words in this article. For the real review, skip down a little way. In the meantime, how do the Chiefs score so freely in the second quarter?
Before I answer that, let’s dive into the point tallies that the Chiefs have registered in the second quarter. They scored six points against Jacksonville while allowing six: a net gain of zero. In the last two weeks, the Patrick Mahomes show scored 28 points against the Raiders and 23 against the Ravens in just the second quarter. The Chiefs translated eight second-quarter drives into seven touchdowns and a field goal. The field goal likely would have been a touchdown, but the Chiefs only had 1:18 left in the half to execute. They walked 60 yards down the field to settle for a field goal. In the meantime, the Chiefs allowed zero points. In eight drives allowed, the Chiefs have forced six punts, one turnover on downs, and the end of a half. In those eight drives, the Chiefs outscored the Raiders and Ravens 51-0.
Why the second quarter in particular?
The second quarter is the only quarter without a real reason for scoring explosions. In the first quarter, one could mention an attacking gameplan or catching your opponent off-guard. In the third quarter, halftime adjustments could be the cause of a run. In the fourth quarter, one can attribute consistent performance to the “clutch gene.” The second quarter has none of these characteristics. Why do the Chiefs score so many points in the second quarter? It is simply because Patrick Mahomes is an alien who will demolish you without any rhyme or reason. No explanation satisfies the question.
Hi, welcome back to the sane world that teams don’t score half of their points in one quarter.
The Chiefs defeated the Ravens by a score of 33-28. There were many questionable decisions made by the Ravens and the referees. Despite scoring four touchdowns, Justin Tucker was brought onto the field for an extra point just once. The referees made questionable calls both ways as a long Ravens run was called back due to a phantom hold on Willie Snead and the referees missed a fairly obvious offensive pass interference by Seth Roberts on the Ravens’ final drive.
What is to blame for the Ravens losing?
Andy Reid. Reid called a phenomenal game from start to finish. He was a master at choosing the proper runs and screens to get Darrel Williams and LeSean McCoy into the action. Williams had 14 touches for 109 yards including 16 on a game-sealing screen pass on third and nine. McCoy went for 80 yards and two touchdowns on just 11 touches.
Things we learned:
Patrick Mahomes is still good.
No explanation needed. He is well on his way to a second MVP.
Lamar Jackson is flawed, yet he has the “it” factor.
Jackson currently has the NFL’s longest streak of attempts without an interception, so he could be worse. A completion percentage barely over 50% is alarming, but Jackson was taking difficult shots down the field and narrowly missing. For the rest of the season, he should fall somewhere between his performances in Week 2 and Week 3.
The Ravens cannot force turnovers.
For the second consecutive week, the Ravens failed to force a turnover. After a pair of interceptions in Miami, the well has run dry for Baltimore. Moving forward, the Ravens must begin to take the ball away at a better clip because they are unlikely to average 50 yards per drive deeper into the season. Shorter fields will enable the Ravens to score more points on offense and keep the other offenses off the field.
The rushing game is still the way to go.
Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards, and Lamar Jackson have averaged an absurd 5.66 yards per carry through three games. While they are unlikely to maintain that average over the course of a full season, it is evident that the Ravens need to keep the ground game at the focus of their offense. No matter how much Jackson improves as a passer, the ground game will always be there as an option.
Reviewing and modifying the Week 2 “What did we learn?”
Lamar Jackson is still good at football.
He has settled into an effective niche as a passer and a runner. He will not explode consistently, but he should be a quality option for the Ravens for the next decade. If he continues to improve, the Ravens will have tremendous amounts of success.
Kyler Murray does not mess around.
While flashing his running skills more than the first two weeks, Murray had an off-week as a passer, tossing a pair of picks and averaging a measly four yards per attempt. He has many things to improve, but the Cardinals look like they got their quarterback of the future.
The Ravens own the run game, still.
Mark Andrews is a top-five tight end in the NFL.
Andrews was hampered with a foot injury on Sunday, but he still managed to haul in three passes. While he took a massive step back from Weeks 1 and 2, Andrews should be fully healthy for Week 4.
The Ravens need secondary help against the Chiefs.
Everyone besides the Patriots needs help.
A look at next week:
The Ravens will return home to face the 1-2 Browns. The Chiefs will travel to Detroit to face the undefeated 2-0-1 Lions.
A look into the AFC playoff picture:
It is still September, but Ravens-Chiefs appears to be a decent bet to happen again in January. It would likely be in Arrowhead by the Chiefs owning the head-to-head tiebreaker, but it would certainly be another classic game.