The Baltimore Ravens improved to 4-1 on Sunday with a narrow 9-6 win over the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs, who lost Matt Cassel late in the game, attempted to ground out the low-scoring battle, continuously pounding the ball with Jamaal Charles. But while the Ravens defense yielded plenty of yards, they kept the Chiefs out of the end zone, forcing turnovers and coming up with key stops when KC entered Baltimore territory.
The game was a field-goal fest, with Justin Tucker and Ryan Succop exchanging three points at a time. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, who's headlined the Ravens offense through the first month of the season, completed less than 50 percent of his passes in a generally sluggish day for his offense. Ray Rice picked up some of the slack on the ground, breaking 100 yards on just 16 carries. But the Ravens had to consistently settle for three after entering the red zone.
Cassel and the Chiefs squandered their biggest opportunity for a touchdown when the KC quarterback fumbled into the end zone on a dive from the one-yard line. It was 3-3 at the time, and Ed Reed came out of the end zone with the crucial takeaway. The momentum swing led to two third-quarter field goals that proved to be the difference for Baltimore.
Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles had an up-and-down first month of the season, but he got off on the right foot in October. Charles rushed the ball 30 times for 140 yards. He moved over 100 yards in the first half alone, the first time a Ravens defense has allowed that since 1998.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who racked up gaudy numbers in September, was just 13 of 27 for 187 yards and one interception.
But did they cover?
The Ravens got the win, but did not cover the 6.5-point spread.
Matt Cassel was knocked out of the game after a big hit to his shoulder by Haloti Ngata. He did not return, and Brady Quinn finished the game under center for the Chiefs.
The Ravens will return home to host the Dallas Cowboys next Sunday, while Chiefs will travel to Tampa for a Week 6 matchup against the Bucs.