Baltimore – Score one for Lamar Jackson.
Winless in his first three meetings with Patrick Mahomes since becoming a youth quarterback household name during the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Jackson delivered an electrifying performance while receiving some significant help from his defense to give the Baltimore Ravens 36- Back from a shaky start. 35 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night at M&T Bank Stadium.
Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, and Mahomes, who won the same award a year earlier, produced no shortage of fireworks as their competition capped an entertaining evening in the NFL, including last-seconds by the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals. Victory was involved. Overtime comeback win by Tennessee Titans.
The first loss came in September for the Chiefs, who Jackson had previously referred to as his “kryptonite” while running as the Mahomes’ starter.
Jackson rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries and completed 18 of 26 passes for 239 yards and one touchdown by rocking two early game interceptions. Jackson’s 1-yard touchdown run and flip in the end zone gave Baltimore their first lead of the game at 36-35, with 3:14 to play. And then, with Kansas City driving, the Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Heller stumbled onto the Baltimore 34-yard line and the Ravens recovered. After four plays, facing fourth and -1 from the Ravens’ own 43, Jackson ran 2 yards down the middle to give his team the first down, and then clocked out with a play later. ran away.
Mahomes completed 24 of 31 passes for 343 yards and three touchdowns and one interception.
Jackson had a poor start as two early interceptions by Chief Safety Tyron Matthews (returned for a touchdown) went big for most of the game.
Mahomes’ first two touchdown passes went to less-heralded players DeMarcus Robinson (a 33-yarder) and Byron Pringle (a 40-yarder), the Chiefs fully displaying their abundance of skill positions. Those two scoring plays sandwiched a touchdown run by a backup running back Darrell Williams.
It wasn’t until the third quarter that Mahomes connected with one of his leading pass-catchers, finding Travis Kells for a short dump-off that took 46 yards on the tight end, four on his way to find the pay dirt. Tackle broke. That play put Kansas City 35-24 in the middle of the third quarter. But Baltimore soon cut the Chiefs’ lead again.
Ravens cornerback Tavon Young intercepted Mahomes – the quarterback’s first career interception in the month of September – at 44. The Ravens covered 56 yards in five plays, finding the end zone on the 2-yard Jackson Run. But Jackson’s pass for a two-point conversion failed.
After another Ravens defensive stance, Baltimore took the lead on Jackson’s second touchdown run.
Although 3:14 seemed like too much time for Mahomes & Co. to operate, the Baltimore defense delivered, readying Jackson to run out the clock and lead Baltimore to its first win of the season.
Follow USA Today Sports’ Mike Jones on Twitter @ByMikeJones.