The Ravens took another step towards punching their ticket to Las Vegas with a 34-10 victory over the Texans in Baltimore in the AFC Divisional Round. 

The game was a story of two halves, as both teams went into halftime tied at 10 but after a few adjustments on both sides of the ball the purple and black scored 24 unanswered points and ended a dream run for the young Houston squad. 

The story going into this game was, could the Ravens exorcise the ghosts of 2019? Could Lamar Jackson show that his regular season success could translate into the post-season? The answer to both was a resounding YES! 

Lamar was fantastic, especially in that second frame as he led the offense and used the dominant run game and some quick passing to carve up the opposing defense. Jackson was 16 for 22 in the air with two touchdowns, while he ran for 100 yards on the ground with two touchdowns.  

So how does the story change now? The Ravens must get past one final hurdle before they can book a trip to Sin City and that’s a meeting with the reigning Super Bowl champions – the Kansas City Chiefs.  

KC have had a down year, especially by their lofty standards. They lost six games in the regular season which is the most since 2014 and their offense which in the past has been one of the league’s most prolific under the guidance of Patrick Mahomes has only averaged 21 points a game.  

But these are the Chiefs, and they are the closest franchise the league has to a dynasty. They have been in the AFC Championship game six consecutive times and have made three trips to the Super Bowl winning two. They have a future Hall of Fame head coach and the league’s most successful quarterback under center and they have the songbird of our generation in their corner. 

So what’s the story for this weekend? The reigning Super Bowl champions roll into Baltimore complete with the Kelce-Swift sideshow ready to spoil Lamar Jackson’s coronation. They are the champions until they aren’t. Can the Ravens rise to the occasion, slay the dragon and take the crown? 

I say they do. It’s been quite an amazing season for John Harbaugh’s club and it just feels like it’s their time. This is the best Ravens team in all areas in their franchise history but before they can be compared to the champions of 2000 and 2012 you have to win a trophy. 

I think the Ravens are prepared to write the next chapter towards a fairy tale ending. 


1) 21 is the magic number

Pouring over the stats to prepare this week I came across the most important number for this weekend’s game – 21.  

When Kansas City scores 21 points or more this season they are an unblemished 10-0. Baltimore has held the opposition to under 20 points in the last five games. (Houston, Pittsburgh, Miami, San Franscico, Jacksonville) Something has to give here. I do think that if the Ravens defense shows up as it has as of late and keeps the score where they want it then Baltimore will advance. 

Kansas City has the edge in experience, and they have used a small wrinkle to up their offensive production moving to more three Tight End sets helping them run more effectively and set up positive gains in the passing game. Travis Kelce may be coming off an inconsistent regular season but no combo has been more successful than Mahomes-Kelce in the playoffs. So the Ravens defense will need to find a way to make someone else beat them besides the star Tight End. The coaching chess match will definitely play a huge factor in the outcome. 

2) Taylor Swift (Matt’s Version)

Pro Football is entertainment.  

Sure, it’s an athletic contest where two teams compete against each other to determine the outcome and not an exhibition where the winner has been chosen. Apologies to any conspiracy theorists out there but pro football isn’t scripted. But just like a movie or TV show it has its storylines, famous people that appear for cameos, and merchandise that fans can buy. Sports and Movies are chasing the same entertainment dollars. So it can hardly be a surprise that the Taylor Swift-Travis Kelce romance has been highlighted during NFL broadcasts. You can love or hate her songs but you can’t deny that she’s a Global superstar. Any media executive who wouldn’t throw a camera on her a few times a game would be fired immediately.  

It’s a no brainer. 

That said, there is a law of diminishing returns on celebrities and sports teams that win a lot. Overexposure is concern and if you aren’t fans of Swift or Kansas City you might grow tired of seeing them enjoying themselves every week. Singing and dancing in the luxury suite and just living a great life that many people wish they had. 

I read that there are some people that say those that hate the Swiftie focus are just hating on a strong woman. Maybe. But for me it’s more about that it isn’t my team.  

I’m tired of seeing the Chiefs win, just like I was tired of seeing the Patriots win year after year. I can acknowledge the greatness of Patrick Mahomes but I’m sick of seeing him win and watching his bad commercials. I don’t mind Taylor Swift. My wife loves her music and I can admit she has a few songs that I like too but her association with the team is just another example of the rich getting richer.  

I just want to see my team go to the Super Bowl. 

3) Who to Watch?

I’ll start with Lamar Jackson. No explanation needed. I’ll also mention Mark Andrews as I think he will be active for this big game. How he’s used and how many snaps he has should be interesting as Isiah Likely has done extremely well in his absence. I also have my eyes on Odell Beckham Jr. He was quiet last week but he might be due to a big game as the stars need to shine brightest in the biggest games. 

On defense I think Jadaveon Clowney will have two sacks and will be a disruptive force on the edge. Roquan Smith is a given and lastly I’ll go with Jordan Stoudt. Yes, the punter. He’s had a better season but he occasionally shanks one or two. There is no room for error this weekend. 

Happy Football everyone and Go Ravens! 

Matt Jergensen
Matt Jergensen

Matt has lived in Maryland his entire life and is a graduate of Calvert Hall and Towson University. has always been an avid Baltimore sports fan. Since 2007, he has been writing and talking about Baltimore sports, especially the Ravens. His work has appeared on Ravens Gab, Russell Street Report, and he currently co-hosts a podcast “The Blitz- A Ravens podcast” with Brent Harris.