Week 3 of the NFL season begins on Thursday, and there is plenty of action on Sunday. But, all anyone can really think about is Monday night's matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens.
Two undefeated teams, considered to be the class of the AFC and the league. Patrick Mahomes against Lamar Jackson. What could be better?
Looking at the two franchises, there is a stigma that this game matters more for the Ravens, it's their "Super Bowl." Though they were the No. 1 seed in the AFC last year, it was the Chiefs that hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. Mahomes is 2-0 in meetings with the Jackson. It's a brewing rivalry that is about to become even bigger.
The Ravens are good, but taking down the Chiefs would be the sign that they are truly the team to beat.
As for Kansas City, some think Monday is just "another game." They've won the Super Bowl, they've beat the Ravens two consecutive years. They have nothing to prove.
According to NFL reporter Jason La Canfora, that is not the case. Speaking with former Chiefs quarterback and current radio analyst Trent Green, La Canfora learned that the atmosphere and mindset for the defending champs are the same as Baltimore's.
“I’m like ‘Im guessing it’s just another game for the Chiefs,’ and he’s like ‘No, really it’s not,'" La Canfora said on 106.7's The Sports Junkies. “He’s like, ‘This whole town last week was already kind of looking past the chargers to see the Ravens.’"
Just because the Chiefs have had the success in the past doesn't mean things will remain the same and that's something the team understands entering Week 3. Through two weeks, Baltimore has scored 30-plus points in both contests while limiting a Browns offense filled with weapons and Deshaun Watson.
For Kansas City, it's clear who their biggest threat is. To know that they have what it takes to once again come out of the AFC, they need to see how they fare against the Ravens.
"Because they view the Ravens as the best limits test to see ‘are we still the bully on the block?’ or have the Ravens improved to a point to where they’re better than us?’” La Canfora said. “They view as the Ravens as maybe the toughest opponent in the conference."
It feels like Baltimore is preparing for a late-January or early-February game this week, and the same can be said for the vibe out in Kansas City.
“He said that it was a playoff atmosphere in Kansas City all week as well and it’s all anybody is talking about," La Canfora said of Green.
Monday night has plenty of intrigues, and if an extra incentive is needed, the game could have an impact on playoff seeding given the expanded field for the 2020 season.
It's a huge moment for the Ravens in their quest to take the next step, but it carries the same important for the Chiefs. Two of the best will go at it in primetime with the same goal in mind: Prove they are No. 1.