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Ravens vs. Chiefs: 7 early storylines to watch in the AFC Championship game

The Kansas City Chiefs travel to Baltimore for the AFC Championship Game to take on the Ravens.  Kickoff at M&T Bank Stadium is slated for 3:00 p.m. ET.

Sunday will mark the Chiefs sixth-consecutive AFC title game appearance, it’s first of the stretch that will be played on the road.

Last Sunday, the Chiefs defeated the Bills in Buffalo 27-24 to advance to the AFC’s final game, while Baltimore is riding high after a 34-10 win over Houston and rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud.

The last time these two teams met was in 2021 in Week 2.

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson had two fourth-quarter rushing Touchdowns to defeat the Chiefs 36-35.

Since becoming Kansas City’s head coach in 2013, Andy Reid has been 4-1 through the regular season against the Ravens, while quarterback Patrick Mahomes has been 3-1.

With preparation for the matchup set to begin, here are seven storylines to watch.

Chiefs are facing a dominant defense

Baltimore became the first team in league history to finish a season ranking No. 1 in each of the following categories: points allowed (16.5 ppg), sacks (60) and takeaways (31, tied w/ NYG).

Led by All-Pros S Kyle Hamilton, DT Justin Madubuike, ILB Patrick Queen and ILB Roquan Smith, the Ravens allowed the league’s sixth-fewest yards (301.4 ypg).

Team Statistical Comparison

Individual Statistical Comparison

Andy Reid-John Harbaugh

Before becoming the Ravens head coach in 2008, Harbaugh spent 10 seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. Harbaugh spent the 2007 season as the Eagles secondary coach. Prior to that, he spent nine seasons as Philadelphia’s special teams coordinator (1998-2006).

In 1998, then-Eagles Head Coach Ray Rhodes hired Harbaugh, who quickly established a reputation as one of the NFL’s top special teams coaches. Subsequently, he was one of four assistants retained by now Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid in 1999, and the rest is history.

Hometown connections

Chiefs offensive tackle Donovan Smith is from Owings Mills, Maryland, less than 20 miles northwest of the Ravens home-field, M&T Bank Stadium.

Chiefs defensive tackle Neil Farrell, Chiefs running back La’Mical Perine, Chiefs wide receiver Kadarius Toney and Ravens Quarterbacks Coach Tee Martin are all from Mobile, Alabama.

Decatur, Georgia, is the hometown of Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker and Ravens cornerback Rock
Ya-Sin.

Chiefs Linebackers Coach Brendan Daly and Ravens Wide Receivers Coach Greg Lewis are both from the Windy City, Chicago, Illinois.

Along with Donovan Smith, Ravens center Sam Mustipher is also from Owings Mills, Maryland.

Ultimate QB matchup

Lamar Jackson accounted for 4,499 total yards, racking up a career-high 3,678 through the air, to
go with a career-best 67.2% completion rate and the NFL’s No. 4 passer rating (102.7). He also
posted a QB-high 821 rushing yards for a league-best 5.5 yards-per-carry average.

He’ll face off with the reigning NFL MVP and GOAT in the making Patrick Mahomes.

Mahomes is in his sixth season as the Chiefs starting quarterback. As the starter, Mahomes has led the team to six-consecutive AFC Championship Games, three Super Bowl appearances and earned
NFL MVP (2018, 2022) and Super Bowl MVP honors (2019, 2022).

Mahomes has defeated all 31 teams in the NFL, the youngest QB to reach that milestone. Since 2018, he leads the league in yards (28,140), touchdowns (219), 25+ yard completions (237) and first down throws (1,389). With only 62 interceptions (since 2018), he owns a +157 TD/INT ratio, the highest mark of any active QB in that span. He owns 45 career games of 300+ passing yards.

Story originally appeared on Ravens Wire