The Baltimore Ravens will host the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday. The Chiefs, led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes, will be playing in their sixth straight conference championship game, while the Ravens are looking to make their third Super Bowl appearance and their first since 2013.
The Chiefs had a rocky season by their standards but managed to defeat the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills in the playoffs to reach the AFC Championship Game. Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce have been a dynamic duo, setting a record for the most postseason touchdowns by a duo in NFL history. Running back Isiah Pacheco could be a key player for the Chiefs in this game after rushing for 97 yards and a touchdown in last week’s win over the Bills.
The Ravens faced criticism heading into the playoffs due to quarterback Lamar Jackson’s past playoff performances. However, the team silenced doubters with a dominant 34-10 win over the Houston Texans in the divisional round. Jackson had an outstanding game, throwing for two touchdowns and rushing for another two scores. Tight end Mark Andrews, who has been dealing with an ankle injury, has been activated off injured reserve, which could provide a boost to Baltimore’s offense.
The weather conditions for Sunday’s game are expected to be rainy with temperatures around 47 degrees and winds at 16 mph. Both teams are accustomed to playing in inclement weather at this time of year, so the conditions may not have a significant impact on the game.
Baltimore Ravens right tackle Morgan Moses, who has played in 152 games in his career, described his physical condition as feeling like fine wine as the season goes on. Moses will be tasked with fending off the Chiefs’ pass rush and helping the Ravens in their Super Bowl quest.
The Chiefs have a strong cornerback duo in L’Jarius Sneed and Trent McDuffie, who rarely allow long completions. They will be tasked with limiting the production of Ravens receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and rookie Zay Flowers. If Sneed and McDuffie can contain the Ravens’ passing game, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo may be more aggressive with blitzing.
Running back Justice Hill could be a key player for the Ravens in this game. With J.K. Dobbins and Keaton Mitchell out, Hill is the closest thing the Ravens have to a lead back. He has been reliable in pass protection and has had success running between the tackles. If the Ravens can control the clock with their running game, they have a good chance of coming out on top.
In terms of injuries, the Ravens have activated tight end Mark Andrews off injured reserve, while wide receiver Tylan Wallace and linebacker Del’Shawn Phillips are unlikely to play. The Chiefs have a relatively healthy roster heading into the game.
Overall, both teams are strong on both sides of the ball, but the Ravens have had a dominant playoff run so far. With Lamar Jackson playing at a high level and the addition of a healthy Mark Andrews, the Ravens have a good chance of winning this game and advancing to the Super Bowl. However, the Chiefs have proven themselves as a resilient team and should not be counted out. It should be an exciting and closely contested AFC Championship Game.