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Not Just Kelce, But Ravens’ Tight Ends Face Favorable Matchup

December 07, 2018 - 6:10 am

By Joe Schiller 

The Ravens will have their hands full this Sunday trying to contain a fully-loaded Chiefs offense.

Among the many weapons at Patrick Mahomes’ disposal is Travis Kelce. The 6-5, 250+ pound tight end is more of a receiver and has gave opposing defenses nightmares this season, totaling 1082 receiving yards and a career-high nine touchdowns.

Covering tight ends has been a glaring weakness for a relatively solid defensive unit in Baltimore but the Chiefs aren’t the only team in this game with a favorable matchup in this game.

This season, the Chiefs have allowed a league-high 913 receiving yards to opposing tight ends and it’s an area the Ravens should look to exploit with Lamar Jackson presumably under center.

Last week, Jared Cook caught seven passes for 100 yards and a touchdown as the struggling Oakland Raiders scored 33 points in the loss. He’s one of many tight ends that have seen success against the Chiefs this season.

Kansas City has allowed at least 50 receiving yards to a tight end in 8 of 12 games this season and many aren't big names. Jesse James, Jeff Heuerman, Niles Paul, David Njoku, Ricky Seals-Jones and Tyler Higbee all accomplished this feat.

The Ravens’ passing game has been inconsistent since Jackson took over center but tight ends, particularly Mark Andrews, have become the signal caller’s best friend.

Jackson doesn’t possess as strong of an arm as Joe Flacco and in the short to mid-range passing game, they can create mismatches against linebackers and safeties. As great as the rushing attack has been, Jackson will have to throw the ball and it’s likely targets such as Andrews, Hayden Hurst and Nick Boyle will be his primary targets.

That, in return, will help the Ravens extend drives and control time of possession – something they’ll need to continue to do in order to keep Mahomes and company off the field.

Obviously, this doesn’t guarantee victory as losses have come few and far between for the Chiefs this season but let’s not act like Kelce is the only tight end with a good matchup.

It’s also an area the Ravens can exploit as part of their game plan.