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Four Takeaways From the Chiefs' 36-35 Loss to the Ravens

Here are some major takeaways from the Chiefs' second game of the 2021 season.

After defeating the Cleveland Browns by a final score of 33-29 last week, the Kansas City Chiefs faced another AFC North opponent in the Baltimore Ravens. On Sunday night, Andy Reid's squad came up just short and lost by a final score of 36-35.

Here are four takeaways from tonight's game.

1. Tyrann Mathieu made his presence felt

Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu wasn't able to play in Week 1 after being activated from the COVID-19/Reserve list, and he certainly made up for lost time on Sunday night against the Ravens. In the first quarter alone, he intercepted Lamar Jackson twice — taking one of them back for a touchdown. He also got his hands dirty as a tackler on numerous occasions and broke up multiple passes. The Chiefs needed a big game from their best defensive player and for the most part, he delivered under the bright lights. 

2. Travis Kelce is unstoppable

After scoring a pair of touchdowns last week, Travis Kelce picked right back up where he left off. Against the Ravens, the 31-year-old hauled in seven catches for 109 yards and a touchdown, including this beauty:

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That play says it all. Not only is Kelce's ability to find open spots in the defense second to none, but he's the greatest yards after catch (YAC) threat among all tight ends in league history. The Chiefs have a very rare player on their hands — multiple, in fact, in the same offense. Don't take Kelce for granted. He reminded you why you shouldn't on Sunday. 

3. Mecole Hardman made progress

In Week 1, wide receiver Mecole Hardman registered just three catches and gained 19 yards on the afternoon. He also stepped out of bounds short of the sticks on one play, frustrating many who expected a step up from him this season in many aspects. On Sunday night, Hardman was better. Sure, he bobbled some balls and had rough moments. He also caught five passes for 55 yards. If Hardman is going to give the Chiefs anything close to this level of production moving forward, that's a win for both him and the team. 

4. The Chiefs have a ton of work to do on defense

Heading into this game, everyone knew that the Ravens were going to have some success running the ball. 40 carries for 252 yards (before the final kneel at the end of the game) is far less than ideal, though. It wasn't just the run defense, either. Chiefs like Nick Bolton, Daniel Sorensen, Charvarius Ward and others struggled in coverage at different points in the game. Whether the Chiefs have a personnel issue, aren't executing or just need to get their feet under them, they need to figure things out quickly. Sunday's showing wasn't a good one. 

Read More: Is Chiefs vs. Ravens a Real Rivalry? Not Quite