AFC Championship 2024: Chiefs at Ravens Preview

By Rockin’ Reese

Tomorrow afternoon, either the (defending Super Bowl Champion) Kansas City Chiefs try to become the 1st team in 19 years to win the Super Bowl in consecutive seasons or the Baltimore Ravens return to the Super Bowl for the first time, since they won the Vince Lombardi Trophy, 11 seasons ago. There will be a raucous atmosphere for the AFC Championship Game at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland.

For the Chiefs, this is their 6th consecutive season in an AFC Championship Game. Only the New England Patriots have had more consecutive seasons competing in an AFC Championship Game. They went 8 times from 2011-12 to 2018-19. Ironically, 2018-19 was when the Chiefs began their streak.  Unlike their previous 5 times, the defending champions will be on the road.

However, last week, the Chiefs went on the road for the first time, since (reigning NFL & Super Bowl MVP) Patrick Mahomes became their starting quarterback. They went to Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York & defeated the Buffalo Bills. In fact, including that playoff win over the Bills, the Chiefs are 7-2 on the road, this season. Since Mahomes started for the Chiefs, they have been road warriors, with a 41-12 road record. It wouldn’t be a surprise, if they made it 42-12, tomorrow.

AFC

Meanwhile, for the Ravens, this is the 5th time that this franchise has competed in an AFC Championship Game. Unlike the previous 4 times, the Ravens will be hosting the game. This is significant for the city of Baltimore, because it hosted the inaugural AFC Championship Game back on January 3, 1971. That game saw the Baltimore (now, Indianapolis) Colts defeat the Oakland (now, Las Vegas) Raiders, en route to defeating the Dallas Cowboys to win Super Bowl 5.

Residents throughout Baltimore, as well as the state of MD, are hoping that this will be an omen for this season. Many people feel this game will be a defining moment for (quarterback) Lamar Jackson. They also feel that he will be the NFL MVP for the 2nd time in his career (he won in the 2019-20 season). He finally won a playoff game at home, as he was the biggest factor in the Ravens decimation of the Houston Texans. Now, Jackson has a chance to lead his team to championship success. It could start by dethroning the defending Super Bowl Champions & becoming AFC Champions.

There have been dog fights with these teams, in the past. Mahomes’ Chiefs are 3-1 against Jackson’s Ravens (including a win in Baltimore, week 3 of the 2020-21 season). The last time they played against each other, the Ravens were victorious in a home game (week 2 of the 2021-22 season). We know there will be some dazzling plays on offense from Jackson & Mahomes, but they better be ready to use their legs, early & often. Neither Baltimore’s or Kansas City’s defense had a sack or an interception in their respective divisional round games, so they will be wanting to put the opposing quarterback, under as much heavy pressure as they can.

CBS & Paramount+ will air the game at 3pm ET (2 CT, 1 MT, 12 PT). When all is said & done, one team will be holding the Lamar Hunt Trophy, as the AFC Champions. The Chiefs want to win it for a 4th time in 5 seasons, while the Ravens want to win it for the 3rd time. It’s the final road to Super Bowl 58 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. Win & you’re looking for success in “Sin City”. Lose & you’re wonder what might have been.

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