Defensive-minded Ravens out to stymie prolific Chiefs


Kansas: The Chiefs’ high-octane offense comes up against the NFL’s top-ranked defense Sunday when the Baltimore Ravens visit Kansas City with an NFL playoff berth at stake. It’s just one game with playoff implications this week, with the New England Patriots and New Orleans Saints out to clinch division titles with victories. The Los Angeles Chargers need a win, and a few more results to fall their way, to secure a post-season spot and the murky NFC East should become clearer as leaders Dallas take on division rivals Philadelphia.
The Chiefs, averaging a league-leading 37 points per game with 23-year-old quarterback Patrick Mahomes at the helm, can punch their post-season ticket with a victory over Baltimore.
The Ravens are looking for a win that would strengthen their hold on the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC. Baltimore held the Atlanta Falcons to 131 yards total offense in a 26-16 victory last week. But they’ll face an even tougher challenge in trying to contain Mahomes, who has emerged as a full-fledged star in his first season as a starter.
Mahomes leads the NFL with 41 touchdown passes, with New Orleans’ Drew Brees the next best with 30.Veteran quarterback Joe Flacco continues to progress in his return from a hip injury, the Ravens are expected to stick with rookie Lamar Jackson, who has rushed for 265 yards and two touchdowns in his three starts.
But it’s the Ravens defense, allowing a league low 17.7 points per game and a stingy 281.7 total yards, that will be key.


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