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Ravens CB Marlon Humphrey dismisses Chiefs' offensive struggles: 'They're still the team to beat'

The Kansas City Chiefs' offense fell from its normal dominant level in 2023.

The Patrick Mahomes-led crew dipped to 15th in points scored in 2023 and ninth in yards after never ranking lower than sixth in either category since Mahomes took over in 2018 (ranked No. 1 in the NFL in both in 2022).

The Chiefs' offensive struggles have been well-documented this season, particularly when it comes to pass-catching issues. But ahead of Sunday's AFC Championship Game, Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey said those issues matter not -- the reigning Super Bowl Champs remain the team to beat.

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"I feel like the Chiefs -- over the years -- are the [professional] football version of Alabama," the former Crimson Tide corner said, via the Ravens' official transcript. "It's like, every year in, year out, they might be like, 'Oh they're not looking that good. They're not this.' They're still 'that team.' They're still the team to beat. Whether they're losing, [or] whether they're winning, they're still the Chiefs, and they're the team to beat. They're Super Bowl champs, and for us to beat them, it's going to take everybody firing on all cylinders."

Despite their struggles, the Chiefs still have the trump card in Mahomes, who has led his team to six consecutive AFC Championship games.

"Mahomes, I think him and Lamar [Jackson]... It's those two quarterbacks and then everybody else," Humphrey said. "So, we're playing one or two of the best quarterbacks ... The two best quarterbacks in all the world are going to be on the same field, and so, we're facing one, and they're facing the other. I think it will be a really good matchup."

Mahomes finished the 2023 season top-5 in completion percentage and passer rating on passes under 10 air yards, underscoring the Chiefs' offensive restrictions stretching the field this season (finished 21st or worst in all categories of 20-plus yards). But Kansas City has stretched the field more successfully in two postseason games.

Patrick Mahomes on Downfield Passes 2023 season (NGS)

  • Regular Season: 50.0 completion percentage; 10.7 pass yards/attempt; 8-9 pass TD-INT ratio; 81.6 passer rating.
    Playoffs: 61.9 completion percentage; 14.0 pass yards/attempt; 1-0 pass TD-INT ratio; 121.6 passer rating.

Obviously, the sample size in the playoffs is minute, but in a win-or-go-home postseason tournament, all it takes is a few deep shots to end Baltimore's Super Bowl dreams.

Humphrey's potential return after missing the past two weeks -- and eight games this season, including playoffs -- could be massive for Baltimore's defense contending with Mahomes. The corner, dealing with a calf injury, practiced on a limited basis on Thursday and said he hopes to play Sunday.

"I'm just super excited to hopefully get out there," Humphrey said. "The fans, they always talk about 'this moment, this is our year.' To finally get here, to finally have it in M&T Bank Stadium in front of our fans, it's a really exciting moment."

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