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Ravens vs. Chiefs: Spread Info, Line and Predictions

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Ravens vs. Chiefs: Spread Info, Line and Predictions
Larry French/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens visit the Kansas City Chiefs in a game that looks fairly lopsided on its face. However, the Chiefs are usually a better team at home and have a few matchup advantages that should make this game competitive.

This looked like an important AFC matchup prior to the season but the Chiefs (1-3) have struggled on defense and haven’t taken advantage of scoring opportunities.

The Ravens (3-1) are deadlocked with the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North and can’t afford to drop a game they are favored to win.

 

Where: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri

When: Sunday, October 7 at 1 p.m. ET

TV: CBS

Live Stream: NFL Sunday TicketAudio Pass (Pay Services)

Radio: WBAL 1090 AM, Baltimore (full list) and 101 The Fox FM, Kansas City (full list)

Spread: Ravens -6
Over/Under: 47 (via Bovada)

 

Who wins this game?

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This is a game the Ravens should win and, for those interested in such things, do so while covering the spread. They are a better team than the Chiefs and are coming off an exciting home win over the Cleveland Browns.

However, the Ravens haven’t had the same quality on defense this season. The absence of Terrell Suggs is noticeable and Baltimore has dipped to a middle-tier team relative to yards surrendered.

Baltimore has become merely good against the run and average against the pass. Considering Kansas City has a rejuvenated ground game and adequate passing attack, the Chiefs should have some success moving the ball on Baltimore.

The problem for the home crowd, though, is Baltimore has been effective at cutting offenses off in the red zone (46.67 percent touchdown rate per teamrankings.com). That is also where the Chiefs have struggled, finding the end zone on just 40 percent of their red zone opportunities.

 

Injury Report (via NFL.com and CBSSports.com)

Baltimore

Injury

Practice, Status

Torrey Smith, WR

Ankle

Full, Probable

 

 

 

Kansas City

Injury

Practice, Status

Peyton Hillis, RB

Ankle

DNP, Out

Jon Baldwin, WR

Hamstring

Full, Probable

Jalil Brown, CB

Hamstring

DNP, Doubtful

Glenn Dorsey, DE

Calf

DNP, Out

Brandon Flowers, CB

Heel

Full, Probable

Derrick Johnson, LB

Groin

DNP, Questionable

Kendrick Lewis, S

Shoulder

DNP, Questionable

Ryan Lilja, G

Back

Full, Probable

Ropati Pitoitua, DE

Elbow

DNP, Questionable

Devon Wylie, WR

Hamstring

DNP, Out

 

Fantasy Impact

Each team has had a breakout fantasy star over the past two weeks. Torrey Smith and Jamaal Charles rewarded owners that were patient after both had rocky starts to the season.

Smith has 224 receiving yards and three touchdowns in his last two weeks; both of those games outranked his combined totals from Weeks 1 and 2. He has a favorable matchup against the Chiefs secondary that has been giving up yards and points in bunches this season.

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Jamaal Charles is the key to the Chiefs' offense.

Charles has had a similar jump-start. After scoring a touchdown and gaining 288 yards on the New Orleans Saints, he picked up 111 yards and two more touchdowns against the San Diego Chargers last weekend.

Dwayne Bowe has been a bit inconsistent this season but should be able to find room for a near-100-yard game and a touchdown against the Ravens. 

The player that is yet to really explode this season is Ray Rice. He’s averaging an impressive 5.0 yards per carry but has been somewhat ignored in favor of the Ravens passing game.

Rice is averaging just over 120 yards from scrimmage with three touchdowns on the season. Both those figures are comparable to his 2011 stats (129 yards per game and 15 TDs in 16 games).

Fans and fantasy owners are eagerly awaiting a 200-yard game with a pair of scores, and the Chiefs defense (20th  against the run) could be just the team on which to run wild.

Neither quarterback is an attractive start in this game, but Joe Flacco has quietly had a top-10 fantasy season. The Chiefs are ranked at 12 against the pass so teams with a tough matchup or a QB on a bye week might consider the start.

CSNBaltimore.com offers some additional thoughts on how the Ravens will fare against the Chiefs defense.

 

Keys to the win

This game will tip to the team that can stop the opponent’s ground game. There are two star running backs in this game playing alongside decent passing attacks.

This tips the advantage to the Ravens. They struggled early in the season as they adjusted to the absence of Suggs, but have been gaining traction.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Baltimore surrendered just 47 yards on 14 carries to Trent Richardson. The rest of the Browns lost four yards on three carries.

The Ravens have the advantage through the air, but Matt Cassel has the ability to throw for 300 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Both defenses are decent defending the pass, but that is about all that can be said.

The Ravens have had difficulty pressuring opposing quarterbacks. While they have a good secondary, quarterbacks and receivers have too much time to find openings. If Charles can add a good rushing attack to Cassel and Bowe then the Chiefs should be able to surpass their 22-point scoring average and challenge the Ravens.

 

Prediction

The Ravens are healthy with the exception of Suggs. They also enter the game after an extended break, having last played in a Thursday night game. The Chiefs have several key players, including a pair of important defensive starters, that could miss the game.

Baltimore will be able to roll out a balanced offense and can do just enough on defense to limit the Chiefs’ scoring opportunities. If Flacco and Smith are creating opportunities this game could get out of hand early.

Baltimore 30, Kansas City 20

 

Statistical data was taken from ESPN.com unless otherwise stated.

 

Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and Seattle Seahawks.

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