National Post (Latest Edition)

Chiefs, Ravens an epic matchup

- John Kryk Postmedia News Jokryk@ postmedia. com Twitter: @ Johnkryk

It’ll be hard for any NFL game this season to top last Sunday night’s Seahawks- Patriots classic, in terms of excitement and transcende­nt quarterbac­k play.

But if any on paper has a great shot, it’s this week’s Monday nighter.

It pits the reigning NFL MVP, Lamar Jackson, and the host Baltimore Ravens against the reigning Super Bowl MVP, Patrick Mahomes, and the Kansas City Chiefs.

It’s not just that both teams are 2- 0.

The Ravens haven’t lost a regular- season game since Sept. 29 of last year, 4025 against the Cleveland Browns — for a non- playoff win streak of 14 games. And the Chiefs, after going 3- 0 in the post- season en route

You play the game to play against the best.

to victory in Super Bowl LIV in February, haven’t lost any game since Nov. 10 of last year, 35- 32 at the Tennessee Titans — for an overall win streak of 14 games.

The only contest either the Ravens or Chiefs has lost over the past 10 months was Baltimore’s deflating playoff defeat to the upstart Titans in January. Considerin­g how Baltimore has begun this season — with a blowout of the Browns, and a trashing of the Texans in Houston — that loss seems like an outlier blip now.

With Mahomes and the Chiefs similarly off to a solid — if unspectacu­lar — start to the 2020 season, this might be the best Monday Night Football matchup since that epic Chiefs- Rams game in November 2018, which burnt out bulbs in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum scoreboard.

“You play the game to play against the best, man,” Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said Saturday. “It’s no hidden secret that the Baltimore Ravens are one of the best teams in the National Football League. Going up against them is a huge and great challenge for us. That’s what you get excited for. That’s why you play the game, in my mind.”

It’s not just that the Ravens have won so reliably over the past calendar year, it’s how they’ve done it. The margin of victory was 14 or more points in 10 of the 14 wins in their streak. Four were by 32 or more points, including this season’s opener, 38- 6 over the Browns.

This Ravens defence is even more talented than the unit that far and away led the league last year in blitzing.

The Chiefs counter with the most accomplish­ed young quarterbac­k in NFL history at the helm, in the 25-year-old Mahomes.

“He’s just been phenomenal in his first three years in the National Football League,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said.

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