Sep 13, 2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs the ball against Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby (98) defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) and defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins (90) during the second half at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

One of the games that NFL fans had circled on their calendars for a while now is this weekend’s AFC showdown between the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens. Specifically, the game has come to be seen as a referendum on both quarterbacks, KC’s Patrick Mahomes and Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson.

Since the Chiefs have gone to two consecutive Super Bowls and Mahomes has been named League MVP and Super Bowl MVP, he’s got the leg-up right now in the battle to be the best quarterback in the conference.

When asked about whether or not he sees this game as a chance for him to claim something for himself, Lamar Jackson deflected, saying the game was about the teams.

“It’s not about me and Mahomes,” Jackson said Wednesday. “Not to me. Probably to everyone else. But it’s the Ravens versus the Kansas City Chiefs.”

However, when Ravens wide receiver Sammy Watkins was asked about it, he said that he absolutely sees the game as a referendum for Jackson and the kind of game where he needs to take the next step.

“I’m definitely looking at it that way like, ‘Man, Lamar needs to win.’ He’s been doing a great job in this league with how he’s carrying himself,” Watkins said. “I just think it’s time for him to take that next hump and try to get a win.”

It’s possible that both things are true. Jackson does need to start cementing his legacy a bit more and getting a win over Mahomes and the Chiefs would help him get there. But the Ravens absolutely need to win this game following their loss to the Raiders on Monday night. A loss here would set them back to 0-2, a place they really don’t want to be to start the season.

Baltimore will get the chance to get their first win of the season when they take on the Chiefs on Sunday night at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC.

[ESPN, Jamison Hensley]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to