The Ravens own the top seed in the AFC playoffs and home-field advantage, but the next dragon they have to slay is the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs on Sunday.
The two AFC powers meet in Baltimore for the right to represent their conference in Super Bowl LVIII. It’ll be a star-studded event — and not just in the luxury box, where Taylor Swift is sure to be.
But it will be a showcase of quarterbacks who have won three of the past five league MVPs and soon to be four of six.
The Ravens pulled away from Houston in last week’s divisional round to easily cash as 10-point home favorites.
MVP front-runner Lamar Jackson rushed for a pair of touchdowns and threw for another during a 24-0 second-half blitzkrieg to break a 10-10 tie.
Baltimore is headed to its first AFC Championship since 2012, which was also the last season the Ravens won the Super Bowl, the first and only title under John Harbaugh.
The Chiefs are seeking their fourth Super Bowl appearance in the past five seasons and are playing in their sixth consecutive AFC Championship, but their first on the road.
There was much talk about how Patrick Mahomes would perform in the playoffs away from Arrowhead, but he passed a tough test in Buffalo last week.
Kansas City outlasted Buffalo, 27-24, as a 2.5-point underdog.
Mahomes hooked up with Travis Kelce on a pair of touchdown passes, while running back Isiah Pacheco scored the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
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The Chiefs improved to 13-3 in the playoffs with Mahomes at quarterback and 9-1-1 against the spread when he is listed as an underdog, which he will be again Sunday.
The teams haven’t met since 2021, but the Chiefs are 3-1 in the past four matchups with Mahomes and Jackson starting at quarterback.
As difficult as this matchup will be for Mahomes, it’s hard to pass on him as an underdog.
THE PLAY: Chiefs +3.5.