The Pittsburgh Steelers are 3-0. They haven’t been 3-0 very often to start a season—it’s not a very easy thing to do—and they haven’t gotten off to this good of a start in terms of their record since 2010. They also have a shot at coming out of week three already with a slight edge in the race for the AFC North crown.
As the Steelers sit back today and perhaps begin preparing to face the Tennessee Titans, who are also 3-0 on the season, the Baltimore Ravens are preparing to host the Kansas City Chiefs, both of whom enter the game 2-0 and who were arguably the top two teams in the NFL last season, with no obvious reasons to contradict that going into the game.
If there were one game the Ravens would be the most likely to lose on their schedule, after going 14-2 last year during the regular season, it might be this one. After all, the Chiefs have been the Ravens twice already since Lamar Jackson stepped into the starting lineup.
And Patrick Mahomes happens to be pretty good. Statistically, he hasn’t been blowing the doors off of the stadiums so far this year, but I really don’t think there is any gray area in terms of whether or not he is one of the top three quarterbacks in the NFL (although it’s nice to see Russell Wilson making sure he’s a part of that conversation this year with an NFL-record 14 touchdown passes in the first three games).
The Ravens already have wins over the Cleveland Browns and the Houston Texans. Thanks to Kansas City and Pittsburgh, Houston is 0-3 to start the season, but there isn’t a team in the league who has had a tougher starting schedule, as none of their opponents have yet lost, and the only loss through three weeks will come from within that group. Cleveland is 2-1, with their only loss being to Baltimore.
As for the Chiefs, they have notched victories, as mentioned, over the Texans, and the Los Angeles Chargers, a game that featured the debut of rookie Justin Herbert—and a game that had to go to overtime, admittedly.
Certainly this will be the Chiefs’ toughest game so far, but they know that they have the New England Patriots lurking on the other side, and then a key divisional matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders, who so far are 2-1 after dropping yesterday’s game to the Patriots.
The most important thing is that this is going to be a very good Monday Night Football game against two of the more exciting teams in football. Should the Chiefs manage to knock off the Ravens, it would come with a major bonus for Steelers fans as Pittsburgh defies pundits in retaining aspirations for a division title—even a first-round bye and the first seed in the playoffs.
It’s also the first game the team has entered with a chance of owning the division lead outright since week 17 in the 2018 season, a gut-punch with the Ravens knocking off the Browns in overtime to claim the division title and essentially eliminate the Steelers from postseason contention.