Chiefs are vulnerable to the surging Ravens

The AFC seems more crowded than ever since Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid's reigns began, but somehow that picture doesn't currently include fellow opponents in the Bills or Bengals.

The No. 1 seed will likely be contested between the Chiefs, Ravens, Dolphins, and Jaguars, with several other seeds still looming in each division.

Remember, the Chiefs have been to the AFC title game for at least five consecutive seasons, winning three of those seasons.

Kansas City isn't good enough and is under a lot of scrutiny after losing to the Broncos and Packers.

Despite the relatively flat landscape we're seeing, the playoffs are in Mahomes' element, and it's ignorant to assume he won't fire up the jets when the season is on the line – he is I have proven my abilities well.

So if you're an AFC contender, what does it take to beat the Chiefs? This has only happened twice against Mahomes, against the Patriots in 2018 and the Bengals in 2021.

New England beat the rookie all over the field with more than twice as many first downs. Mahomes didn't cause any turnovers, but struggled against the Patriots' offensive pass rush.

Three years later, it took an overtime field goal for the Bengals to finish him off.

In fact, Kansas City outscored Cincinnati in total yards and yards per play, but Mahomes was sacked four times and threw two picks.

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs may be in for an unusual end to the regular season. Getty Images

A potential matchup against the Chiefs in January would be against the Ravens, who lead the NFL in defensive DVOA and allow the fewest yards per play (4.2).

Baltimore is also the best rushing team in football, gaining 158.6 yards and 22 total touchdowns per game.

A lot of that is thanks to Lamar Jackson getting back into shape and slipping back into the MVP discussion.

Thanks to a solid defense, Jackson was often able to play with a lead. He holds the highest game script differential at his position (+7.14).

The Ravens dominated in the red zone on both sides of the ball, posting the third-highest scoring percentage at 64.6 percent and giving up 37.5 percent.

Do you want to bet on the NFL?

John Harbaugh has taken one step back and two steps forward since going 14-2 four years ago. The Ravens are the most balanced team in the AFC race, and with the Chiefs looming over the market year after year, now could be a great time to grab a big buck.

play: Ravens win AFC (+280 at BetRivers).

Sean Trepedi Handicaps the NFL for Action Network.



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