2024 NFL Season Opener: Top 5 Storylines To Watch in Ravens vs. Chiefs Week 1 Matchup

The 2024 NFL season will kick off with an AFC title game rematch. Here are the top storylines to look for when the Chiefs play the Ravens in Week 1.

The NFL has decided to begin the 2024 campaign with a rematch of last season’s AFC title game. On Monday, the league announced that the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs would host the Baltimore Ravens to kick off the 2024 NFL season.

While the Chiefs will be hoping to begin their journey toward a three-peat, the Ravens will try to avenge their 17-10 AFC Championship Game defeat. Here are the best storylines to look for when Kansas City and Baltimore square off in Week 1.

Top Storylines To Watch in Ravens vs. Chiefs NFL Opener

Lamar Jackson vs. Patrick Mahomes

Four total MVP awards will be on the field when the Chiefs and Ravens convene to start the 2024 campaign in September. Lamar Jackson won last season’s MVP four years after hoisting his first, while Patrick Mahomes earned his trophies in 2018 and 2022.

Mahomes is again the MVP favorite heading into 2024, as DraftKings gives the Chiefs QB +600 odds to land his third award. Jackson has the third-best MVP odds (+1000), trailing only Mahomes and Cincinnati Bengals QB Joe Burrow (+900).

Derrick Henry’s Ravens Debut

While Baltimore boasted one of the league’s most efficient rushing attacks last season, the 2024 Ravens have a new element in the running game: free agent addition Derrick Henry.

Arguably the best team-player fit of NFL free agency, the Ravens’ decision to sign Henry makes all the sense in the world. He’s an AFC North-type player, even if he’s spent his entire career in the AFC South.

Henry, who’s led the league in rushing attempts in four of the past five seasons, is a massively souped-up version of Gus Edwards, who led Baltimore in carries last year.

Hollywood Brown’s Revenge Game

The Ravens moved on from Hollywood Brown — at his request — during the 2022 NFL Draft, sending the veteran wideout to the Arizona Cardinals along with a third-round pick in exchange for a first-round selection.

Injuries and ineffectiveness limited Brown to just 118 receptions for 1,283 yards and seven touchdowns over two seasons in the desert. But he has a chance to resurrect his career after inking a one-year, $7 million deal to catch passes from Mahomes.

Brown felt he wasn’t utilized correctly in Baltimore’s run-heavy game plans. He’ll have a shot to show the Ravens that he’s capable of being a true WR1.

KEEP READING: 7 Revenge Games That Will Be Must-See TV

Xavier Worthy’s Speed

Brown wasn’t the only speed merchant the Chiefs added this offseason. Kansas City also traded up to draft Texas WR Xavier Worthy, who set a new NFL record with a 4.21 40-yard dash at the Scouting Combine.

With Rashee Rice likely to be suspended after a series of off-field incidents, Worthy, Brown, and TE Travis Kelce will probably be Mahomes’ top three pass catchers for the season opener. Worthy, who broke out for 981 yards as a freshman in 2021 before eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark in 2023, could be a problem for new Ravens DC Zach Orr.

Can the Ravens’ OL Hold Up Against Chris Jones?

Baltimore’s most significant roster question remains its offensive line, which lost OT Morgan Moses and guards Kevin Zeitler and John Simpson over the offseason. While the Ravens added tackle Roger Rosengarten in the second round, they didn’t use any early draft capital on guards.

That could be a problem with Chris Jones on the schedule.

Jones has posted 26 sacks over the past two years, earning first-team All-Pro honors each season. He’s back in Kansas City after agreeing to a five-year extension worth $31.75 million annually in March. Baltimore’s guard group — which includes starting options like  Ben Cleveland, Josh Jones, and Andrew Voorhees — will have its hands full.

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