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Madden 20 simulation: Ravens fall in prime time to defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs

3704 posts Game Changer
As a way to predict the future, NBC Sports Washington is running a Madden simulation of the Ravens 2020 season. Each day, we'll release the recap and stats from a new game against their scheduled 2020 slate of opponents.

M&T Bank Stadium. Monday Night Football. Defending Super Bowl champs in town. A matchup between the last two NFL MVPs, both under the age of 25. The two best offenses in football. Two Super Bowl-winning coaches.

Monday night was as big a game as the NFL has had all season, and though the Ravens faltered under the lights in a 31-20 loss, the game lived up to the hype. The 11-point margin isn't representative of the back and forth nature of the game, with both teams playing at a high level on both sides of the ball.

The Chiefs managed to convert more of their red zone trips into touchdowns, and that made all the difference. But unlike previous losses, the Ravens showed they belonged on the field in this one.

They won't look at it this way, but this was as encouraging a loss as you can find. Though continually falling just short against the Chiefs has to be wearing on them. Lamar Jackson is bound to beat Patrick Mahomes head to head one day, right?

Here's how it happened in an epic Week 13.

No stopping Mahomes

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens have squared off with Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs three times, and all three times Kansas City has pulled out a victory.

Mahomes was once again brilliant on Monday night against the Ravens. In one of the most highly-anticipated matchups of the entire season, the reigning Super Bowl MVP did not disappoint. Mahomes put forth one of the best statistical games of the season against a revamped Baltimore front seven.

The additions of Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe to bolster the defensive line did not do enough to slow down the Chiefs passing attack.

Mahomes was able to find his speedy receivers all over the field and pick apart the vaunted Ravens secondary. The Ravens played well in this game, much better than in their previous two losses, but it wasn't enough against the league's best quarterback.

Ingram catching on

Much has been made of veteran running back Mark Ingram's improved pass catching ability this season, but the last two weeks have been another step forward. In Week 12, Ingram caught six receptions for just the ninth time in his long career, and on Monday night, he caught another seven, something he'd only previously done twice before.

Those seven catches led to 99 yards against the Chiefs, the most for any Raven in the game. Ingram has carried an unbelievable workload during the virtual season, regularly receiving 25 or more rush attempts in a game. Diversifying his skillset can help keep him from running into the trenches as often, and is also a more efficient way to pick up chunk yardage.

With the Ravens wide receivers struggling to develop in their sophomore seasons, Ingram's ability to catch the ball out of the backfield has bailed out Jackson on more than one occasion this year.

Another prime time home loss

The Ravens have just three losses this season, but concerningly all have come against fellow postseason contenders. What's frustrating for fans in Baltimore is that they've also come in national, marquee matchups.

First, the Ravens were blown out at home by the hated Steelers. Then, they lost in the 4:25 national late afternoon slot to the Cowboys, again at home. And on Monday Night Football, they again fell to Kansas City, at home once more.

Three losses, all in big spots with everyone watching. The Ravens, who fancy themselves as a "big game" type of team, will need to live up to their reputations better in the postseason, when every game is in prime time.

Not so dynamic duo

In most games this season, the Ravens have managed to see at least one of their wide receivers finish with a strong line, but they've very rarely had two.

Monday night was another example of this. Willie Snead went over 100 yards, but no other Ravens pass catcher -- besides Ingram, who got his catches out of the backfield -- finished with more than 35 yards. No other wide receiver had more than 21.

The Ravens have enough talent in their corps of pass catchers, but Jackson needs to do a better job of involving everybody throughout the course of a game, rather than keying in on the same guy every drive. Now in their second seasons, Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin need to finally take a leap forward in their development.

Madden's Game MVP: Patrick Mahomes (28/34, 331 yards, 4 TD, 146.4 rating)

Final Stats

Lamar Jackson (BAL) -- 18/27, 266 yards, 98.7 rating
Patrick Mahomes (KC) -- 28/34, 331 yards, 4 TD, 146.4 rating

Mark Ingram (BAL) -- 18 carries, 70 yards, 2 TD
Lamar Jackson (BAL) -- 7 carries, 47 yards
Damien Williams (KC) -- 19 carries, 69 yards
Patrick Mahomes (KC) -- 7 carries, 20 yards

Mecole Hardman (KC) -- 9 receptions, 89 yards
Tyreke Hill (KC) -- 7 receptions, 111 yards, TD
Mark Ingram (BAL) -- 7 receptions, 99 yards
Travis Kelce (KC) -- 6 receptions, 69 yards, TD

Willie Snead (BAL) -- 6 receptions, 105 yards
Mark Andrews (BAL) -- 3 receptions, 35 yards
Damien Williams (KC) -- 3 receptions, 35 yards, TD

Marquise Brown (BAL) -- 2 receptions, 21 yards
Sammy Watkins (KC) -- 1 reception, 25 yards
Blake Bell (KC) -- 1 reception, 1 yard, TD
Miles Boykin (BAL) -- 1 reception, 6 yards

Disclaimer from NBC Sports Washington: We tried to replicate free agency and trades as much as possible, but no rookies have been added and not all NFL transactions are finalized yet.

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