Jackson, Mahomes do battle as Ravens visit Chiefs

Plentiful reasons exist for Patrick Mahomes to think he’s a trendsetting NFL quarterback. After all, he is the reigning MVP following his first season as a starter.

Yet Mahomes remains humble as he leads the Kansas City Chiefs (2-0) into a home matchup on Sunday against another young phenom among NFL quarterbacks, Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens (2-0).

Could a pattern be emerging to try to emulate the flashy substance Mahomes brings?

“I don’t think it’s necessarily my success but the success of the offense in general,” Mahomes said. “As coaches (adopted) Air Raid spread offenses and intertwined that with NFL offenses of old, it’s kind of helping other guys come into the league and have their opportunities.”

Jackson dazzled the first two weeks, throwing for 324 yards and five touchdowns in an opening romp over Miami before rushing for 120 yards and throwing for 272 last week against Arizona.

With a potent mix of RPOs, Jackson can help Baltimore control the clock and keep the electric Mahomes from possessing the football.

“That’s not my job. My job is to score touchdowns, drive the ball downfield,” Jackson countered. “I’m not really worried about him. My job is to worry about my team, my side of the ball, offense, scoring points.”

Nonetheless, comparisons will be drawn between the two young quarterbacks, particularly since Mahomes was not even voted among the top-10 for the Heisman Trophy in his last season (2016) at Texas Tech. That was the year Jackson won the Heisman while at Louisville.

Mahomes did go 10th in the 2017 draft after the Chiefs moved up 17 spots to snag him.

Among his eye-popping highlights a year ago was a 48-yard heave on fourth-and-9 to Tyreek Hill to help the Chiefs overtake the Ravens in a 27-24 overtime outcome.

“That pretty much gave us home-field advantage in the playoffs,” said Mahomes, “so it was one of my favorite (NFL) throws, if not my favorite so far.”

Coming off four second-quarter touchdown passes last Sunday to shellshock Oakland 28-10 rates as spectacular too. Mahomes fired for a whopping 278 yards in the period, second in NFL passing annals behind a 294-yard quarter Drew Brees provided New Orleans in a 2008 game.

The Chiefs will be without left tackle Eric Fisher, who started the game at Oakland but hobbled off with a groin injury he suffered in practice. He underwent surgery Wednesday and will miss a few weeks. Hill (collarbone) also remains out. Running backs LeSean McCoy (ankle) and Damien Williams (knee) both missed practice on Wednesday.

Five players did not practice Wednesday for the Ravens. Injuries to cornerback Jimmy Smith (knee) and safety Brynden Trawick (elbow) are considered most serious. Mark Andrews continues to deal with a sore foot, though he tops NFL tight ends with 220 yards receiving and is ready for another opportunity in Kansas City.

“A lot of guys kind of grew up in that game (last year),” Andrews said. “I think Lamar being able to play a tight game like that was big for his growth. It’s one of those games that I don’t think a lot of people have forgotten.”

Andrews also missed practice last Wednesday but was fine for Sunday, totaling eight catches for 112 yards and a touchdown against Arizona.

–Field Level Media

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