Sunday, October 7, 2012
Wrap-up: Ravens 9, Chiefs 6
By Jamison Hensley
Thoughts on the Baltimore Ravens' 9-6 win at the Kansas City Chiefs:
What it means: The Ravens improved to 4-1 and took sole possession of first place in the AFC North after the Bengals lost to Miami. Baltimore escaped with its first road win of the year because it was a little less sloppy than the Chiefs (1-4), who turned the ball over four times and struggled with quarterback Matt Cassel (9-of-15 for 92 yards, two interceptions). The Ravens are now 7-0 in games under coach John Harbaugh following either a Thursday game or a bye week.
Winning the hard way: The previous time the Ravens won without scoring a touchdown was five years ago to the day (Oct. 7, 2007), when they beat San Francisco 9-7. Baltimore's only scoring in Kansas City was three Justin Tucker field goals: 28, 26 and 39 yards.
Turning point: With the game tied at 3, the Chiefs didn't capitalize on an early second-half turnover and the Ravens did. Ravens rookie Deonte Thompson fumbled the opening kickoff, and Kansas City moved the ball to the 1-yard line. Cassel fumbled on a sneak and Ed Reed recovered. The Ravens converted that turnover into a field goal, a drive that was keyed by a 43-yard pass from Joe Flacco to Anquan Boldin.
Sweating it out: Cassel was knocked out of the game on a hit by Haloti Ngata. But that wasn't a good thing. Brady Quinn came into the game and threw what was believed to be the go-ahead touchdown to Dwayne Bowe. But Dexter McCluster was called for offensive pass interference. The Chiefs were penalized eight times.
Tightening up against the run: The Ravens' defense won't be happy with giving up 140 yards to Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles. But Baltimore, which has long prided itself in stopping the run, did bounce back in the second half. Charles was held to 30 yards after halftime.
Rice leads the way: With Flacco (13-of-27 for 187 yards and one interception) not on top of his game, the Ravens turned to running back Ray Rice. He gained 102 yards on 17 carries. The Ravens are 13-2 when Rice gains more than 100 yards rushing.
What's next: The Ravens return home to play the Dallas Cowboys (2-2), who are coming off a bye.