'Patrick Mahomes is Joe Montana': Ravens' Martindale hails Chiefs QB

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Two months after comparing Baker Mayfield to Brett Favre, Ravens defensive coordinator Don "Wink" Martindale heaped high praise on Patrick Mahomes.

"I think Mahomes is [Joe] Montana -- I'm talking about the San Francisco Montana and not the Kansas City Montana," Martindale said. "I think how everything is cyclical and history repeats itself. I think you're seeing that combination between Andy [Reid] and Mahomes of Montana and Bill Walsh. I really do."

Montana, who finished his career with the Chiefs after 14 years with the 49ers, is considered one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, winning four Super Bowls and two NFL Most Valuable Player awards.

In his first season as a starter, Mahomes is a front-runner for the league MVP award after throwing 41 touchdown passes, which is tied for the second most through 12 games in NFL history.

Martindale's compliment comes days before the Ravens and the NFL's No. 1 defense face the Chiefs and the league's highest-scoring offense.

Mahomes leads a Kansas City offense that tops the league with 37 points per game. Baltimore's defense leads the NFL in fewest yards (281.7) and points allowed (17.8).

Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith sees Mahomes having more of a resemblance to another Hall of Fame quarterback.

"We're just looking at him like a young Brett Favre -- a little bit more athletic," Smith said. "He can really sling the ball."

The Ravens have given up 16 touchdown passes this season, which are tied for third fewest in the league. Only one quarterback has thrown more than two touchdown passes in a single game against Baltimore this season (Andy Dalton in Week 2).

Mahomes has produced four or more touchdown passes in seven games.

"He's wise beyond his years, the way he controls the line of scrimmage, the way he checks, the audibles, snap count, the way he moves the safeties with his looks and his dropbacks," safety Eric Weddle said. "[I'm] obviously impressed with what I've seen, and it's exciting for me to go out there and try to make him mess up with what I can do and maybe force him into some throws he wouldn't want to do."