OWINGS MILLS, Md. — It's the Ravens versus the Chiefs ... not Lamar Jackson versus Patrick Mahomes.
That's the sentiment of Baltimore's quarterback heading into this massive Week 3 matchup.
"I don’t have to focus on Mahomes," Jackson said. "I have to focus on their defense. I have to focus on scoring. I have to focus on my job and making my offense do our thing. But my defense has to worry about him – and their offense.”
Mahomes has gotten the best of Jackson in each of the past two seasons.
In 2018, Mahomes threw an improbable 48-yard completion to Tyreek Hill on a 4th and 9 that set up the game-tying touchdown. Kansas City won the game 27-24 in overtime.
Last year, Mahomes kept the Ravens off-balance, throwing for 374 yards with three touchdowns in a 33-28 victory.
Jackson has not played his best games against Kansas City, but he has put the Ravens in a position to win.
In 2018 as a rookie, he threw for 147 yards with a pair of touchdowns and no turnovers. Jackson also ran for 67 yards on 14 carries.
The following year, Jackson was 22 of 43 for 267 yards and was sacked three times. He ran for 46 yards with a touchdown.
While it's only Week 3, Jackson understands the ramifications of this game from a team standpoint.
"When we go into the game, it’s always a statement," he said. "It’s any given Sunday, any given Monday, Thursday – whenever you play. When we go into the game, like I said, we’re going to focus on our assignment, focus on doing what we’re supposed to do, which is go win that game. That’s what our goal is.
"We’re focusing on winning this game. All [of] our goal is beating the Chiefs right now. They’re the only ones in our way for on and on in the season right now. We just have to focus on beating them – that’s all.”