Photo Credit: USA Today

Matt Judon is the Key to Defense's Success Against Chiefs

Vinny & Haynie
September 19, 2019 - 10:52 am

By Joe Schiller

The Ravens face their toughest test of the early season on Sunday on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs. The two teams met last season and it took an MVP effort from Patrick Mahomes for the Chiefs to come away with a 27-24 overtime win. 

Less than one year later the quarterbacks, the stakes remain the same, and the Ravens' defense will need to have their best performance yet to come away 3-0. 

For that to happen, Matt Judon needs to be a defensive star. 

With Terrell Suggs and Za'Darius Smith gone, Judon is the leader of the pass rush and he's played up to the billing. He's totaled two sacks and five quarterback hits through two games. Judon was all over the field against Mahomes last season, racking up one sack and five QB hits in the loss. It's imperative the Ravens apply the same pressure against him on Sunday. 

The Chiefs will be without star wide receiver Tyreek Hill, but will still have plenty of dangerous weapons on the field. The Ravens will be without cornerback Jimmy Smith, and the secondary suffered lapses against Kyler Murray and the Cardinals last week. 

Despite losses in the pass rush, the Ravens have produced the most quarterback hits (21) through the first two weeks of the season. Defensive Coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale can creatively scheme up the pressure with his starting 11 and Sunday provides the perfect opportunity to do that.

Chiefs' starting left tackle Eric Fisher will miss the game with a core muscle injury, and backup Cam Erving will take his place. 

We've seen what can happen when Mahomes has time in the pocket – just ask the Oakland Raiders. Mahomes went off for 12-of-17 for 278 yards and four touchdowns in the second quarter. That's a stat line that quarterbacks don't put up through four quarters on a weekly basis, and a game the Ravens certainly don't want to play come Sunday.