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Ravens escape KC; The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

There was nothing pretty about the Baltimore Ravens 9-6 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs today. The game was ugly on both sides, and easily could have ended with a loss. While there is plenty that will need to be corrected, what matters most though is that the Ravens were able to do just enough to leave KC with the win.

Baltimore improves to 4-1, and will host Dallas next Sunday.

The Good:

1) On KC’s 1st series, Kruger shot the gap on 3rd and 1 with a tackle behind the line of scrimmage, forcing the Chiefs into a punt.

2) Baltimore’s 1st drive started with Rice getting 6 yards on 1st down, followed by a quick strike to Smith for 9 yards and another 1st. After not having a catch vs. the Browns, Pitta got his first out of the way quickly vs. KC.

3) Good punt coverage from the Ravens on their initial punt.

4) Following Charles’ long 25 yard run on KC’s 2nd series, the Ravens run defense tightened-up on the rest of that possession. Cody and Upshaw combined for a good tackle on 1st down. McClain came up and made a tackle on 2nd down. On 3rd and 8, Kruger wrapped up and forced a 2nd KC punt.

5) During the KC 3rd series, Pollard came up with a strip on Charles, but Reed was not able to retain possession. Several plays later Cyrus Gray fumbled, and this time Courtney Upshaw was able to come-up with the ball.

6) Following holding from Boldin, the Ravens faced 1st and 17 from the KC 49 on their 3rd series. Rice would then explode for 37 yards, using a stiff arm to gain some additional yards on the play, getting the Ravens into the KC red-zone. A made Tucker FG gave the Ravens a 3-0 lead.

7) With KC at the Ravens 28 yard line in the 2nd Quarter, Williams and Webb combined for an interception. Williams got his hands on the Cassel pass attempt, and Webb came down with the ball.

8) Coming off the Webb interception, the Ravens gained a quick 16 yards with Flacco finding Boldin.

9) KC’s first full drive of the 2nd Quarter, saw KC continue to run all over the Ravens. However, after KC had a 1st and 10 from the Baltimore 20; the Ravens defense came through with a couple of plays and forced a FG attempt. Succop would knock home the tying FG, but it could have been worse.

10) KC fumbled on 1st and Goal from the Ravens 1, and Reed recovered.

11) Subsequent to the Reed recovered fumble, Boldin picked up 43 yards through the air, and Rice picked up 26 more on the ground, taking the ball to the KC 16. Tucker would hit from 26 yards out, giving Baltimore the 6-3 lead.

12) The Ravens defense showed some life on KC’s 2nd series of the 3rd Quarter. Upshaw, Ngata, and Kruger each coming up with positive plays. The Chiefs quickly had to punt, and the Baltimore offense got the chance to build on their lead.

13) Ed Dickson had his 1st catch on the Ravens 2nd drive of the 3rd, gaining 11 yards over the middle. Rice followed with a 16 yard catch of his own.

14) The Baltimore defense picked up Flacco, as Williams came up with a pick of his own, after Flacco’s 3rd Quarter interception.

15) Coming off the Williams’ int, the Ravens began their 3rd drive of the 3rd from their 23 yard line with 3:48 on the clock. Leach gained 18 yards out of the backfield. Smith gained 26 more, getting the Ravens to the KC 26. A 12 yard carry from Pierce, gave the Ravens a 1st from the KC 14. Tucker’s 3rd FG gave Baltimore the 9-3 lead as the 3rd Quarter ended.

16) Jimmy Smith had nice coverage down the sideline as KC faced 3rd and 15 early in the 4th.

17) The Ravens were clinging to their 9-3 lead, when KC began their 2nd drive of the 4th Quarter from their own 30 with 10:15 left in the game. After Charles gained 16 yards on a pass, Ngata, and Kruger combined to knock out Cassel. A couple of plays later, Kruger was right in the backfield blowing up an attempted run by Charles. After reaching the Ravens 15 yard line on a 1st and 10, Lewis blew-up Gray for a 1 yard loss. On 3rd and 11, KC lost 10 yards on an illegal pick. KC got pack 12 yards, but was forced into a 31 yard FG attempt. Succop connected making it a 9-6 game.

18) Flacco had his best play of the game, with just over 3 minutes left in the game. Needing 15 yards on 3rd down, he scrambled for 16. This gave the Ravens another 1st down (from their own 31), allowing the Ravens to keep possession and eat further into the clock. With a 3rd and 1 from their own 40 and 2 minutes left, Rice got low and used 2nd effort to gain another 1st and effectively end the game.

The Bad:

1) Baltimore was forced to punt on their 1st series, when Pitta could not come up with a 3rd and long catch over the middle.

2) KC got their first 1st down on their 2nd series, with a back shoulder throw to Bowe. That was followed by a Charles run for 25 yards, with the Chiefs line blowing open large holes.

3) Boldin was unable to come up with a catch to start the Ravens 2nd drive. On 3rd and 6, Flacco was brought to the ground by Hali, as Hali got by Oher.

4) The 3rd KC series saw the Chiefs line continue to maul the Baltimore front-7. After ripping off a long run, Charles was stripped by Pollard, but Reed was not able to retain the fumble. While KC would put the ball on the ground again several plays later, this looked like a missed opportunity at the time.

5) The Ravens started in good field position, after getting Upshaw’s recovered fumble with just over 3 minutes left in the 1st Quarter. Smith ripped off a big gain on 1st down, which was brought back due to holding on Boldin. After Rice gained 37 yards on 1st and 17, the Baltimore offense stalled. Unable to pick up 3rd and 8 from the KC 10, Baltimore was forced to settle for a FG.

6) After taking a 3-0 lead, the Ravens had poor kickoff coverage, watching Draughn return the ball 41 yards (out of the endzone) to the KC 35. On 1st down, Charles gained 8 yards up the middle. On 2nd down he gained 6 more. The 1st Quarter ended with Charles gaining another 11, and another 1st down for KC – taking the ball to the Baltimore 40. On 3rd and 10, Smith was called for defensive holding, and still could not prevent Bowe from grabbing a 1st down in-front of him.

7) During the Ravens 1st drive of the 2nd Quarter, Osemele was beat badly by Houston, putting the offense into a 3rd and 15 position. Several plays later, Osemele was called for a false start. Again facing 3rd and 15, they ran a play to Boldin short of the 1st down marker.

8) With just over 9 minutes left in the 2nd Quarter, a Sam Koch punt should have had the Chiefs pinned deep in their territory. However, a Ravens player touched the ball, and KC was able to gain 25 yards on the return, taking the ball to their own 35.

9) Beginning their first full drive of the 2nd Quarter, the KC raced from their 35 to the the Ravens 20. Charles for 8, Charles for 10, Draughn for 6, Cassel for 12, Charles for 9, Draughn for 2. KC’s no-huddle rushing attack was working beautifully and the Ravens defense showed little ability to stop it. Unable to bring in fresh D-lineman, the Ravens were constantly on their heels.

10) Boldin had a poor drop on the Ravens final series of the 1st half. Flacco hit him right in the chest down the field, but Boldin could not come up with the catch. On 3rd and 10, Rice dropped a pass as well. The pass to Rice was short of the chains, but had he come up with it cleanly, he would have had a chance to gain the 1st.

11) KC’s last drive of the 1st half began from their 19 yard line with 1:04 on the clock. Again using the ground game, they reached the Baltimore 43 and were in position to consider a long FG attempt.

12) Coming off the Thompson fumble to start the 2nd half, Baltimore had KC facing 3rd and 4 from the Ravens 13 yard line. Williams was charged with pass interference, giving KC 1st and Goal.

13) Osemele was called for another penalty, on the Ravens 1st drive of the 3rd Quarter.

14) Baltimore’s 2nd drive of the 3rd Quarter ended with Flacco being picked off on the sideline. Flowers returned the ball 29 yards to the Ravens 36.

15) Pierce’s 12 yard run, gave the Ravens a 1st and 10 from the KC 14 with 51 seconds left in the 3rd. Three plays later, Baltimore was again settling for a FG attempt. On 3rd and 10, Flacco was sacked when he held the ball too long.

16) KC was facing 3rd and 6 from their own 24 early in the 4th Quarter. Cassel was able to complete a 26 yard pass to Baldwin, as the bigger 2nd year WR leaped over Webb.

17) Thompson was called for a penalty on KC’s first punt of the 4th Quarter, backing up the Ravens offense.

18) On 3rd and 7, with just over 8 minutes left in the game, Quinn found Bowe with a 20 yard strike to keep the KC drive going. There was good defense from Williams, but not enough pressure up front.

19) Baltimore had a 2nd and 10 from the Ravens 20, with under 4 minutes left in the game. Osemele was beat again, and Flacco was sacked. The play could have been a disaster.

The Ugly:

1) Charles had 125 yards rushing against the Ravens in the 1st half, the first time a RB had done so against the Ravens since 12/20/98.
1a) While Charles and the KC O-line deserve some credit, I think the Ravens D-line deserves most of the blame. Across the board, the Baltimore defensive line was getting manhandled. His play improved in the 2nd half, but Ngata was a complete non-factor over the first 30 minutes. Even if he was not directly making plays, he should have been commanding enough attention for the others to do so. The Ravens defense goes against a n0-huddle offense everyday, why did they seem unprepared to deal with KC incorporating that into their offense today?

2) Thompson fumbled KC’s kick to start the 2nd half. Not only did KC get the ball right back, they started their 1st drive of the 3rd Quarter at the Ravens 29.

Notes:
Baltimore was 3 of 11 on 3rd down.
KC was 6 of 13 on 3rd down.
KC had over 200 yards on the ground.
Flacco was sacked 4 times.
Flacco completed just 13 of his 27 attempts.
Boldin, Smith, an Pitta each had 3 or more catches.
KC had the ball for 34+ minutes.

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Written by Chris Stoner
6 years ago
Baltimore Ravens,

Chris Stoner

Chris Stoner founded Baltimore Sports and Life in 2009. He has appeared as a radio guest with 1090 WBAL, 105.7 The Fan, CBS 1300, Q1370, WOYK 1350, WKAV 1400, and WNST 1570. He has also been interviewed by The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Business Journal, and PressBox (TV). As Owner, his responsibilities include serving as the Managing Editor, Publicist, & Sales Director. You can reach him via email at [email protected].

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