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The marquee game of Week 3 lived up to the billing. The Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens played a thriller, with Kansas City ultimately prevailing 33-28 despite a late charge from Baltimore. The Chiefs scored four times in the second quarter for the second consecutive game, and only needed one more score to come away with the win.
The Ravens scored on a 14-play drive early on, but their dry spell that lasted from 4:24 in the first quarter to 10:35 in the third ended up dooming their chances. The Ravens had a last-ditch chance to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, but their inventive onside kick was fair-caught by Mecole Hardman, and then they could not get a stop on the Chiefs’ clock-killing final drive.
Here are some key takeaways from an early-season tilt between AFC contenders.
Why the Chiefs won
Reason No. 1: Patrick Mahomes. The reigning MVP went 27 of 37 for 374 yards and three touchdowns, and made several completely ridiculous throws. Reason No. 2: Andy Reid. He schemed several quality screens that turned into big plays, including one to third-string running back Darrel Williams that ultimately sealed the game. Reason No. 3: The defense stepped up for just long enough. Lamar Jackson struggled badly throwing the ball in the first half, and the scoring drought that lasted about a quarter and a half was too move for them to overcome.
Why the Ravens lost
Mark Ingram didn’t have enough help. Baltimore’s lead back carried 16 times for 103 yards and three scores, and also hauled in four catches for another 42 yards. But Baltimore’s dynamic receiving threats, Mark Andrews (three catches, 15 yards) and Marquise Brown (two catches, 49 yards), were completely bottled up, and it took Jackson a while to get going with other targets. Combine those struggles with a defense that had to go up against the best offense in the league, and you have the recipe for a hard-fought road loss.
The second quarter. LeSean McCoy got the Kansas City scoring started with a one-yard run, and then Mahomes really got cooking. He made a ridiculous throw to Demarcus Robinson in the back of the end zone (more on that in a second). He found Mecole Hardman for another deep score. He let a late drive that turned into a Harrison Butker field goal and pushed the lead to three scores. It was another masterful performance just before halftime, and it staked the Chiefs to a lead they’d never relinquish.