Chiefs-Ravens Instabreakdown: this loss is on the defense

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Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Chiefs now sit at 1-1 on the season after losing to the Ravens, 36-35.

Final score: Baltimore Ravens 36, Kansas City Chiefs 35

Offense (Talon Graff)

It was a fairly typical night for Patrick Mahomes and the air attack.

Mahomes finished with three touchdown passes to go with his 343 passing yards. He threw his first interception of the 2021 season — and his first on his career in September — on a play he should’ve just taken a sack. The offensive line kept Mahomes clean all night, allowing zero sacks.

The running game will be looked at a lot for this Week 2 loss. Clyde Edwards-Helaire totaled a measly 46 yards, and the team only tallied 62 on the ground. The most disappointing moment came on the final offensive play when Edwards-Helaire fumbled the ball on what should have been a game-winning drive. Turning it over in that situation is a big letdown for the second-year ball carrier.

Tyreek Hill was held to only 14 yards after putting up nearly 300 in Week 1. Baltimore’s coverage was effective in keeping No. 10 from being impactful. Mahomes only targeted Hill four times. Travis Kelce, however, was his typically reliable self. Byron Pringle flashed what he could do with a huge 40-yard touchdown scamper. Mahomes hit nine different receivers throughout the loss.

There is work to be done for this offense. The running game has been sub-par for the first two weeks and will shoulder most of the blame for falling to 1-1. Edwards-Helaire will be scrutinized plenty all week, but I am already looking forward to a big bounce back. The Chiefs are a championship team that knows how to rally around each other in times of adversity. Time to do just that.

Offensive Player of the Game: Travis Kelce

The All-Pro showed out against the Baltimore Ravens. Kelce hauled in seven catches off eight targets for a final line of 109 yards and a touchdown. He was able to find pay dirt on a 46-yard catch-and-run that you don’t expect from a tight end. This was Kelce’s 32nd 100-yard performance.

Defense (Bryan Stewart)

Where do we begin?

251 rushing yards on 41 carries — equating to 6.1 yards per carry and three total rushing touchdowns. That’s what the Baltimore Ravens did to the Kansas City Chiefs’ defense tonight. It was easy — too easy. I’m not sure we have seen this defense look as poor as this since the 2018 season.

The defensive line had every reason on paper to dominate the matchup. Instead, the Ravens took control of the line of scrimmage from start to finish. The linebackers for Kansas City — a unit already greatly criticized — struggled more than ever.

Say what you will about a Mahomes interception or Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s fumble — that’s fine, as they deserve criticism — but this loss is very much so on the defense. The Ravens were far too decimated to allow 36 points tonight.

The good news? It is September 19. Good, bad, or somewhere in between — this team was sure to look different months from now than it did tonight. The reality remains — this unit has a ton of work to do if they are going to accomplish all of their goals throughout the regular season and beyond.

Defensive Player of the Game: Tyrann Mathieu

Easy call here. Mathieu’s multi-interception performance (including a pick-six) was the only major highlight on the night. It was the defensive leader’s first game action of the 2021 season, and he only further displayed why he deserves a contract extension with Kansas City. We have to enjoy watching No. 32 make huge plays in Chiefs red for as long as possible.

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