Ravens-Chiefs preview: Key factors for Wild Card Weekend
On Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens will kickoff the third game of Wild Card Weekend in what is expected to be one of the most interesting matchups from the postseason. While the Ravens are in the playoffs for the third-straight year, the Chiefs are making their first appearance since 2006.
Here are a few key factors to keep an eye on when these two teams square off on Sunday.
The experience factor
This is the third-straight season Baltimore enters the postseason as a Wild Card team. If the last two years are any indication of what to expect, the Ravens may have a slight edge over the Chiefs.
Look at what happened last year when Baltimore marched into Foxboro and embarrassed the New England Patriots. Kansas City deserves all of the credit in the world for what they’ve accomplished this season by emerging as the top team in the AFC West, but they’re inexperienced when it comes to the playoffs. It’s a whole new season once the playoffs roll around with a different kind of pressure. Lucky for the Ravens, they already know what that type of pressure feels like and will look to use it to their advantage on Sunday.
Will the Chiefs benefit from playing at home?
While everybody wants to credit the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots for the way they play at home, the Chiefs aren’t far behind when it comes to playing at Arrowhead Stadium.
Kansas City finished 7-1 at home during the regular season. Arrowhead contains arguably one of the most hostile environments in football and hopes to use that to their advantage against Baltimore. However, as mentioned in the previous section, the Ravens have managed to win as a Wild Card team in the opening round two years in a row–so it should be interesting to see the result of Sunday’s matchup.
Chiefs’ rushing attack vs. Ravens’ rushing defense
When one of the league’s top ground games goes against one of the top rushing defenses, football fans are in for a treat.
Thanks to Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones, the Chiefs contain the best ground game in the NFL, averaging 164.2 rushing yards per game. The duo will face one of the their toughest challenges of the season going up against a Ravens’ squad that allowed just 93.9 rushing yards per game during the regular season–ranking them fifth in the NFL.
Dan Parzych is the Lead NFL Content Editor for RantSports.com/NFL, where he writes and edits NFL content for RantSports.com.
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