The Kansas City Chiefs head to Baltimore to face the Ravens on “Sunday Night Football” this weekend.
Over the past few seasons, Kansas City and Baltimore have been among the top teams in the AFC. All three games that the teams have played against each other since Patrick Mahomes took over as the starter in 2018 have gone the way of the Chiefs.
This season, in particular, there are quite a few former Chiefs on the roster in Baltimore adding some intrigue to the matchup. While former Chiefs’ first-round draft pick Marcus Peters is on injured reserve after a season-ending knee injury, the Ravens also have former third-round pick Justin Houston and Super Bowl hero Sammy Watkins on the 53-man roster.
Andy Reid has always had a soft spot for Watkins, but this week they’re opponents in NFL primetime.
“So, I’m a big Sammy Watkins fan,” Reid told reporters on Wednesday. “I wish him the best. You know, we’re playing him, so I can’t wish him the best for that, but for the rest of the season I wish him the best. A heck of a kid.”
On former Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston, Reid has been impressed with what the veteran defender has been able to accomplish in his short time with the Ravens.
“They’ve got Justin Houston too,” Reid said. “There’s a little bit of that going on in this game, of knowing people in organizations. . . Justin’s actually playing very well for them. I don’t want to slight that. I’m a fan of his too, he’s a good football player and he knows this offense.”
As for Mahomes, he knows Watkins as well as anyone. The two combined for 129 receptions for over 1,600 yards and eight touchdowns during their time together in Kansas City over three seasons. That doesn’t even include Watkins’ 25 receptions for 477 yards and one touchdown scored in the playoffs.
“Yeah, well, every single day he puts in the work,” Mahomes said of Watkins. “He’s obviously a bigger body who can make a lot of catches, but he has the speed to break it away at any time. I think you saw that in their game on Monday night and obviously when he was here with us. So, I’m happy for him that he’s in a good spot and I know it’ll be a great challenge for our defense to have to battle him.”
Having some familiarity with some of the top players on the opposing team is never a bad thing, but that familiarity also goes both ways. It’ll be interesting to see what type of success both Watkins and Houston will find against Kansas City in Week 2.