John Harbaugh's Ravens embracing hype surrounding 'MNF' vs. Chiefs

Just like you, dear NFL fan, the Baltimore Ravens are giddy about Monday night's matchup against the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

The Ravens lost to K.C. on the road in each of the past two seasons. With Monday's game in Baltimore, coach John Harbaugh didn't shy away from the hype surrounding the bout between the two teams expected to battle for AFC supremacy.

"You can't help it, you think about it," Harbaugh said, via the team's official website. "It's probably the first thing that goes into your mind once you get in the locker room. You kind of start talking about the game and then everybody is talking about it in the locker room, about the next one, too. Honestly, it's that way every week, but this probably as much as any week, we're thinking about the next one.

"I don't think you can ignore it. You can't sit there and pretend. Every game is important, they all count for wins, and you don't want to mess up one that the fans or somebody else might not think is important. But who wouldn't get excited for a game like this? When you're playing a team that is the defending champs, the favorites to win the whole thing again -- going forward -- the type of players they have, the coaches they have? You're going to get excited about it. It's not something that we downplay. We don't ignore it. We try to embrace it and make the most of it."

The main stage is set to host the 2018 NFL MVP, Patrick Mahomes, and the 2019 NFL MVP, Lamar Jackson. Each of the young QBs offers explosive "wow" potential that will keep even the most casual of fans at the edge of their seats.

Monday marks the 27th game since the 1970 merger (including playoffs) between the two most recent MVPs -- Mahomes and the Chiefs defeated Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in the most recent such matchup in Week 14, 2019.

Jackson (age 23) and Mahomes (25) represent the first head-to-head matchup in NFL history between two former MVPs each 25 or younger.

With Jackson at the helm, the Ravens are 4-0 in prime time (12 TD, 0 INTs from the QB); Mahomes' Chiefs are 6-5 in prime time. The Ravens are averaging 36.5 points in those tilts, while K.C. sits at 31.7. In summation: We're in for a potentially explosive game Monday night.

Harbaugh knows the type of challenge he's in for facing a Mahomes-led offense.

"He's just been phenomenal in his first three years in the National Football League," Harbaugh said. "We've seen it up-close and personal in two different occasions -- at their place the last two years -- where he's made some just tremendous plays that have really, in the end, beaten us. So, we have to find a way to stop him and all those weapons they've got. It's going to be a big challenge."

Consider this: In his young career, Jackson has suffered just three regular-season losses total. Two of those have come to the Chiefs.

Monday's game will be about more than the QBs. Tyrann Mathieu, Calais Campbell, Tyreek Hill, Marquise Brown, Mitchell Schwartz, Ronnie Stanley, Chris Jones, Marcus Peters, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Mark Ingram, and on and on and on the list of potential game-changing players between both sides goes.

The biggest stars are always the QBs. Monday's matchup gives us the two brightest young signal-callers in the game.

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