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Ravens vs. Chiefs: 5 stats that stand out

Ravens vs. Chiefs: 5 stats that stand out
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) passes against the Oakland Raiders. (Ben Margot / Associated Press)

The Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs started 1-5 this season, but the Chiefs have rattled off seven straight wins to pull themselves into the playoff hunt. The Ravens are already eliminated. Several categories — such as points off turnovers — separate them, but several others will create an interesting matchup Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

3.65: The Ravens have allowed 84 points off 23 turnovers this season. Their average of 3.65 opponent points per turnover ranks fifth in the league behind the Washington Redskins (5 points), the Houston Texans (4.06), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4.05), and the Jacksonville Jaguars (3.71). It's been a major problem the past four weeks, when the Ravens have committed eight turnovers and seen opponents score six touchdowns off them, including two touchdowns in each of the last two weeks. The Chiefs are the second best team in the NFL at scoring off takeaways (100 points off 24), so any turnover Sunday will likely be costly.

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10: Much is made about Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith's aversion to throwing down the field — he often opts for safe throws underneath — but he's tied for eighth in the NFL with 10 completions of 40 yards or longer this season. He's certainly not a deep ball specialist — his 7.6 yards per attempt ranks 11th in the league — but don't be surprised if he completes a big pass or two against the Ravens, who have allowed 10 passing plays of 40 yards or more and an average of more than three 20-plus yard completions per game.

58.8: Among all their defensive struggles this season, the Ravens have the sixth-best in goal-to-go defense, and have allowed touchdowns on 58.8 percent of opponents' goal-to-go situations. They've been near the top of the NFL in that category for the past three years. The Chiefs come to town with the seventh-best goal-to-go offense in the NFL, and have scored touchdowns in 76 percent of those situations. They lead the league with 17 rushing touchdowns, and also have one of the league's best red-zone receivers in tight end Travis Kelce.

7.8: Kansas City comes to Baltimore boasting the league's fourth-best adjusted sack rate, getting to the quarterback 7.8 percent of the time, according to Football Outsiders data, which adjusts for down, distance, and situation. They have 39 sacks, and face a Ravens offensive line that is third in adjusted sack rate, allowing sacks on 3.9 percent of dropbacks. The Ravens have gotten their quarterbacks hit too often recently — 21 times in the past two games — but Matt Schaub and Jimmy Clausen have gotten the ball out before the pass rush arrived more often than not. That could change Sunday against a pass rush that features seven players with at least three sacks this season.

4: Entering Week 15, the Ravens rank first or tied for first in the NFL in four statistical categories on special teams: net punting average (44.2 yards), team punt return average (13.2 yards), kickoff touchbacks (55), and punt returns of 20-plus yards (five). In addition, they moved into first place in Football Outsiders' comprehensive special teams DVOA rankings, which rate how much value teams get out of the unit over the league average. The Chiefs have sound special teams, too, starting their average drive at the 31.6-yard line, but the Ravens have pinned opponents deep often and will look for an advantage in the field-position battle.

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