The Ravens advanced to a 4-1 overall record and held onto second place in the AFC North after holding off the Kansas City Chiefs, 9-6, in a tough road game on Oct. 7 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
The Ravens, known for their explosive offense so far this season, were contained offensively by the Chiefs throughout most of the contest. Baltimore was held without a touchdown score for the first time so far this year. But they managed to still win the game thanks to a greedy defensive unit.
Baltimore has been known for its strong defensive play since 1998, but this season the unit hasn’t met its usual standards, ranking 27th in the NFL. However, the defense of old showed up against Kansas City, as Baltimore came up with four turnovers on Kansas City and held the Chiefs to only two field goals.
Most Outstanding Player of the Game:
With the Ravens’ passing attack out of rhythm for most of the game, Baltimore leaned on Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice, who rushed for 102 yards on 17 carries. Rice came close to scoring what would have been the Ravens’ only touchdown on a 37-yard rush, but was tackled just outside the end zone.
Unsung Hero of the Game:
Perhaps even more than Rice, the Ravens leaned on rookie kicker Justin Tucker, who accounted for all of the team’s points. Tucker was 3-for-3 on field goal attempts, converting a 27-yarder, a 26-yarder and a 37-yard field goal that gave the Ravens the win.
More Game Notes:
Ravens five-year quarterback Joe Flacco had one of his least impressive showings of the season, completing only 13-of-27 passes for 182 yards; he was picked off by Chiefs cornerback Brandon Flowers and didn’t throw a touchdown for the first time this season.
Many of Flacco’s incompleted passes were dropped by his receivers. Veteran receiver Anquan Boldin dropped a few passes and finished with only four catches for 82 yards, while Torrey Smith followed with three catches for 38 yards.
The Chiefs had some success running the ball, especially in the first half as running back Jamaal Charles rushed for 125 yards by halftime. Charles went on to finish with 140 yards on 30 carries as the Ravens’ defense stiffened up to limit him to only 15 yards total through the third and fourth quarter.
Kansas City quarterback Matt Cassel was booed by Chiefs fans after completing only 9-of-15 passes for 92 yards with two interceptions. He was injured on a big hit by Ravens’ Haloti Ngata in the fourth quarter, and backup Brady Quinn came in to replace him. Quinn completed 3-of-3 passes for 32 yards before the game ended.
The Ravens were led on defense by 16-year veteran linebacker Ray Lewis with 10 tackles; defensive backs Cary Williams and Lardarius Webb both came up with interceptions on Cassel.
The Ravens (4-1 overall) will next face the Dallas Cowboys (2-2 overall) on Oct. 14 at 1 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.