By Terrance Turner
Sept. 19, 2021
The Kansas City Chiefs played the Baltimore Ravens on “Sunday Night Football” tonight. The teams faced off inside M&T Bank Arena in Baltimore. Just fifty seconds into the game, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson got picked off. The ball was intercepted by Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu, who returned it all the way to the end zone. It was the first pick-six of Jackson’s career.
Ravens receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown was running towards the end zone when the ball popped out of his hands. It bounced into the air and landed in the hands of Devin Duvernay, who ran just feet into the end zone for the touchdown.
The Ravens tied the game at 7. But the Chiefs struck back fast. Mahomes hurled the ball across the field; Demarcus Robinson made an incredible end-zone catch. That 33-yard touchdown made it 14-7.
Mahomes’ pass flew 47 yards in the air; Robinson had a 32% chance of making the catch, according to NextGenStats. But he did anyway.
Mathieu stunned viewers with his second interception. But the Chiefs were unable to covert that pick into points — a crucial mistake that would come back to haunt them.
The Ravens evened the score again by doing what they do best — run the ball. The drive culminated in a rushing touchdown. Running back Latavius Murray had a 5-yard run to score. Kicker Justin Tucker (among the most reliable kickers in the league) added an extra-point kick to tie the game at 14.
But Kansas City pulled away again. RB Darrel Williams rushed two yards for the TD. Kicker Harrison Butker’s extra-point attempt made it 21-14 with 52 seconds remaining. The Ravens got within field goal range after big catches by Mark Andrews and Sammy Watkins and a daring run by Jackson. Justin Tucker nailed a 43-yard field goal attempt. It was 21-14 at halftime
The Chiefs wasted no time scoring. At the opening drive of the third quarter, Mahomes heaved the ball to receiver Byron Pringle, who took off to the races for a 40-yard touchdown. The Ravens answered immediately. Jackson showed off his skill with a jump pass to Marquis “Hollywood” Brown for a touchdown. (By the way, “Hollywood” Brown refers to his hometown of Hollywood, Florida, as we learned during tonight’s player introductions.) The score was 28-24 midway through the third quarter.
But just as the Ravens were starting to close the gap, the Chiefs pushed it back open. My home’s tossed the ball to Travis Kelsey who ran and ran and ran. The result was a 46-yard reception, a highlight reel run that extended the lead.
Mahomes, hit as he threw, threw his first interception of the game. Baltimore took advantage of the turnover by running plays downfield. Jackson took off for a rushing touchdown, diving and extending his arm so that the ball crossed the goal line. The Ravens attempted a two-point conversion but were flagged for a penalty for an eligible man downfield. They retried the two point conversion and Jackson got picked off in the end zone.
Baltimore wore down the Chiefs defense with an 11-minute drive. The Ravens outran the Chiefs on play after play, advancing down the field just as they had before. The lengthy drive culminated when Lamar Jackson, untouched, ran and then cartwheeled into the end zone. Jackson’s 1-yard rush gave his team the lead.
The Ravens decided to go for two. But Jackson’s pass to Marquise Brown for a two-point conversion was incomplete. It was 36-35.
That would be the final score. Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire fumbled the ball on what could have been a game-winning drive, and the Chiefs defense was unable to stop the Ravens from reaching a crucial first down. Baltimore’s victory exposed gaping holes in the Kansas City run defense; the Ravens picked up over 400 yards on the ground.