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Chiefs X-Factor vs. Ravens, and it’s not Patrick Mahomes

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Chiefs X-Factor vs. Ravens, and it's not Patrick Mahomes

The Kansas City Chiefs need a big game from their x-factor to beat the Ravens.

The Kansas City Chiefs are hoping for a big win on the road this coming weekend over the Baltimore Ravens that would send them to the Super Bowl at Allegiant Stadium.

On Sunday afternoon, the focus will be on the game itself, with the defending Super Bowl champs set to take on John Harbaugh’s surging AFC contenders.

With Patrick Mahomes firmly in the spotlight of the in-game broadcasters’ comments, you might think that Mahomes is the x-factor in Sunday’s game. The real x-factor for the Chiefs is a running back who made his presence felt in this past Sunday’s big win over Buffalo in New York State.

Isiah Pacheco is the Chiefs’ X-Factor

Pacheco is not thought of among the Chiefs’ long list of star offensive players, but he is quickly becoming one in today’s modern NFL.

Pacheco can do a little bit of everything. He’s not a classic back in the mold of Emmitt Smith or LaDainian Tomlinson who is likely to carry the ball 300 times in a season, but he finds way to impact the game and to come up big in the big moments.

This season, Pacheco ran for over 900 yards and seven touchdowns. He also caught 44 passes for 244 yards.

Last week, he ran for almost 100 yards and a touchdown as the Chiefs once again eliminated Josh Allen’s Bills from the playoffs.

For the Chiefs to win against Harbaugh and the Ravens, they need to get Pacheco the ball in the right spots at the right time.

Pacheco is the type of player who thrives when the attention is not on him, so it may take a series of patented Andy Reid smokescreens to free the Chiefs x-factor against what should be a swarming Mike McDonald-led defense.

Chiefs vs. Ravens Set for 3 p.m. ET

The Chiefs are hoping for a big performance from Pacheco with another eye on shutting down, or at least slowing down, Jackson in their matchup in the Charm City.

Jackson ran for 100 yards and two touchdowns last week against the Texans.

Impressive for a quarterback, he outpaced the Chiefs’ leading rusher Pacheco. Jackson also threw for 152 yards and two touchdowns on the day, once again granting him the title of perhaps the most talented NFL quarterback never to win a Super Bowl.

Jackson, who played his college ball for the Louisville Cardinals, is a patient runner and passer who knows how to keep the chains moving. He is adept at preventing the opposing team’s offense from ever seeing the field while grinding out first downs with his legs and completing key passes over the top of a sucked-in defense due to their fears of a rushing attack.

Pacheco’s success can help impact the defense’s success.

Between Pacheco running and catching passes and Kelce keeping the chains moving over the middle of the field, the Chief have a bonafide one-two punch that the Ravens will have to account for at all times.

If Chris Jones and the Chiefs’ aggressive defense can’t shut down Jackson and the Ravens’ offense fully, the next best way to prevent Jackson from taking over the game is to beat the Ravens at their own game.

Pacheco’s versatility gives Coach Reid’s team the chance to do just that, as the x-factor Coach Harbaugh and company must be prepared for on Sunday.

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