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Ravens vs. Chiefs staff picks: Who will win Monday night’s game at M&T Bank Stadium?

Here’s how The Baltimore Sun sports staff views the outcome of Monday night’s game between the Ravens and Kansas City Chiefs at M&T Bank Stadium:

C.J. Doon, editor

Ravens 35, Chiefs 28: Kansas City’s defense has been disappointing through the first two weeks, and the Ravens are a nightmare matchup. Stopping the rushing attack would be difficult enough for the Chiefs, but now reigning Most Valuable Player Lamar Jackson is also one of the league’s most accurate passers. The only reason this game won’t be a runaway for the Ravens is Patrick Mahomes, who despite Jackson’s steady improvement still holds the title of league’s best quarterback. Mahomes will have to have a signature performance for Kansas City to win this early clash of the AFC’s top contenders.

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Daniel Oyefusi, reporter

Ravens 26, Chiefs 24: This matchup should live up to its “Game of the Year” billing, even without a raucous stadium full of fans to buoy the Ravens in a prime-time showdown. While all the attention will be placed on the two transcendent quarterbacks leading their teams, I’ll be paying more attention to which defensive front can best disrupt the opposing offense. The Chiefs haven’t looked very sharp on defense, and the status of a few of their key players is up in the air. I’ll take the Ravens, who have looked a little better on both sides of the ball, albeit through just two weeks.

Mike Preston, columnist

Ravens 31, Chiefs 28: This is a hard prediction because Kansas City has beaten the Ravens in the regular season the past two seasons. The Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in the NFL and tight end Travis Kelce usually has big games against the Ravens. But at this point, I am not sure Kansas City has the same mindset as the Ravens. Baltimore was disappointed and embarrassed after losing in the playoffs to the Tennessee Titans last season, and that might have been a turning point for the Ravens young team. Earlier in the week, I thought the Chiefs would win, but I just think the Ravens have more of mental edge at this point. If they stick with the game plan, the Ravens should win.

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Jonas Shaffer, reporter

Ravens 37, Chiefs 27: The Ravens lost in Kansas City in 2018 because Lamar Jackson wasn’t yet a great passer. They lost in 2019 because their pass defense was in shambles. In 2020, Jackson is a dual-threat star, and their cornerbacks, even without Tavon Young, have shutdown potential. Patrick Mahomes is a headache for defensive coordinators, but the Ravens offense is strongest where the Chiefs are weakest. If Kansas City’s tackling isn’t up to par, Lamar Jackson and Co. could dominate.

Childs Walker, reporter

Ravens 34, Chiefs 32: The Chiefs came out sluggishly in Week 2 and nearly suffered an upset, but the Ravens can’t count on a repeat. No one stops Patrick Mahomes for four quarters, so the Ravens will have to score early and often to win this high-profile showdown. Kansas City’s poor run defense will allow them to do just that.

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