As if there were any debate.
When the Chiefs head to M&T Bank Stadium for Monday Night Football on Sept. 28 to face the Ravens, the entire NFL will tune in to watch two of the game’s most exciting players in primetime.
Winners of the last two MVP awards, Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes will headline perhaps the game of the NFL season.
Tale of the tape
Jackson’s 2019 season was one for the record books.
He threw for a league-high 36 touchdowns last season with a completion percentage of 66.1. He added 3,127 yards through the air with 1,206 — the most ever for a quarterback — on the ground. In just his first season as a full-time starter he led the Ravens to the league’s best offense and a 14-2 record.
Mahomes’ second season as a full-time starter wasn’t, at least statistically, as impressive as his 2018 season, but it was still good enough for him to throw for 4,031 yards in just 14 games. He added 26 touchdowns compared to just five interceptions as the Chiefs ranked fifth in the NFL in points-per-game en route to a Super Bowl title.
The Ravens added a second-round running back in J.K. Dobbins to the mix, as well as two receivers in Devin Duvernay and James Proche. Otherwise, most of the league’s top offense from a year ago will return.
They’re hopeful that Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin can take major steps forward in their second seasons in the NFL, too, which will make the Ravens’ offense more well-rounded.
The Chiefs, who didn’t have a running back eclipse 4.6 yards per carry or 500 rushing yards last season, may have found their answer in Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the 32nd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The dynamic threat out of LSU will join an offense that has weapons all over the board.
They had four receivers last season (Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman) eclipse 500 yards on the season — and another, Demarcus Robinson, finished with 449 yards.
Who has the edge?
As hard as that might be for Ravens fans to understand, Mahomes has done things at the quarterback position the NFL has never seen before. The reigning Super Bowl MVP has a leg up on Jackson right now.
That’s not to say the gap is necessarily wide, however, as Jackson made defenses look silly in 2019. If Jackson is able to build off his stunning second year in the NFL, and the Ravens are able to slow down Mahomes and the Chiefs with their outstanding secondary, this game should live up to everything it’s hyped to be.
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