To the Ravens news…
Sunday, 1 p.m.
The Patriots can clinch yet another AFC East crown by beating the Dolphins. New England is also looking to stay in position for a first-round bye. Meanwhile, the Dolphins are clinging to hopes of a wild-card berth. A knee injury to top Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard could open up New England’s passing attack.
Root for: Patriots
While the expectation is that Jackson will start Sunday’s game, coach John Harbaugh wouldn’t say whether he has a decision to make at starting quarterback going forward.
”I’m not getting into all that,” Harbaugh said after Friday’s practice. “… It’s not something that we’re going to talk about. I’m not trying to be coy or clever. We’re just rolling. We’re just going to play the games. We don’t feel like we owe any explanations to anybody. We’re going to put our best team out there and try to go play some football.”
Harbaugh acknowledged there is a scenario in which Flacco will serve as a backup Sunday, which would be a first for the former Super Bowl MVP. Flacco has started all 163 games he has played in his 11-year career.
BALTIMORE RAVENS @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Key NFL Matchup/Stat:
Mitchell Schwartz has allowed pressure on 2.5% of pass blocks this season. That is the lowest rate for a right tackle in the last decade.
Fantasy Stats to Know:
While Spencer Ware didn’t quite deliver on the hype last week, he did manage to find the end zone. But this is a brutal draw for Ware with the Ravens currently sitting as the No. 32 fantasy matchup for running backs. Baltimore has only allowed three backfields to top 100 yards on the season. Ware owners are right to be concerned but should still view him as a back-end RB2 in another potentially high-scoring game for the Chiefs.
Ravens at Chiefs: Chiefs -8.5 to -6.5
Tough to put a finger on what drove this one down from an 8.5 opener, except that the betting public might be buying into Lamar Jackson and the streaking Ravens. Short-term memory sometimes drives bettors, and Baltimore has won consecutive games by double-digit margins while the Chiefs are coming off a closer-than-expected 40-33 victory over the two-win Raiders.
Of course, Kareem Hunt’s release and Joe Flacco’s improved health could also be factoring in.
Sharps grabbed Baltimore when it still had a touchdown in its back pocket. If you weren’t able to do that, you’re taking a bit of risk at Arrowhead.
That being said, it’s a risk I’m willing to take because I don’t trust the Kansas City defense.