After winning the last 12 games of the regular season, it’s safe to say the Ravens are the favorites to win the Super Bowl. The team not only won every game during that stretch, but they did so decisively. From Lamar Jackson down the roster, the Ravens looked better than they have in years. They could very well ride this success to another Super Bowl.
One team, however, could pose a major threat to the Ravens in the playoffs if they can get it all together.
Which NFL team could ground the Ravens?
Several teams have what it takes to topple the Ravens. The one-and-done format of the NFL playoffs means any off-game or overachievement could shake up the standings. The AFC saw this in the first week after the Titans took down a New England Patriots team that, even in a relatively not great season, were favorites to make the big game.
Over in the NFC, one could see several teams racing past the Ravens on the big stage. Although the San Francisco 49ers saw struggles in the latter part of the season, their dominant play showed they can beat anyone. The Packers will likely enter the Super Bowl with momentum if they make the game, too.
The Patriots may have been the biggest competition inside the AFC. By beating them, however, the Titans showed they are not afraid to show up as underdogs and handle business, while the Texans’ defense could give Jackson fits. There is one team, however, the Ravens may fear more than any other: the Kansas City Chiefs.
Can the Chiefs beat out Lamar Jackson?
In many ways, the Ravens had the season many expected for the Chiefs. Patrick Mahomes was coming off of his MVP year, and some expected his team to be better as a result. Heading into the first weeks of the season, this seemed to be the case. The team ran off four wins in a row to start.
One of these wins was a 33-28 victory over the Ravens — right before Baltimore started its winning streak. The game showed the team’s ability to punish the Ravens when they had the ball. Jackson completed just 22 of his 43 passes and didn’t throw a single touchdown. The Chiefs even did a good job on his running game, allowing just 46 rushing yards from Jackson.
The Chiefs went on to struggle after Week 4, especially after Mahomes went down for two games and looked injured during the stretch afterward. Having faced the surging Patriots last season, the Chiefs will look to finish things. While Jackson and company played in the playoffs last year, the Chiefs could view them as easier to hurdle than New England.
Can anyone beat the Ravens?
Despite the Chiefs’ early-season victory over the Ravens, this was not the team playing today. While it’s true the playoffs are a different beast, getting 12 straight victories shows the Ravens can handle whatever opponents throw at them. Jackson proves to be a juggernaut who punishes defenses. The Chiefs and other teams would be foolish to assume they can stop him.
The Ravens may have their destiny in their own hands. They have a coach who’s helped will his team to a Super Bowl and a grittiness that could pay dividends in the playoffs. If all of this comes together, expect them to hoist the trophy. If not, the team has itself to blame.
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