At First Glance: Ravens vs. Chiefs


John Eisenberg: The Ravens won without giving a winning performance. Their offense sputtered, failing to reach the end zone, and their defense was dominated up front, especially in the first half. In short, they were vulnerable to a classic road upset, but the Chiefs were simply too charitable (four turnovers) and too one-dimensional on offense to take it. Things could easily have been different if Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel hadn't fumbled at the Baltimore 1-yard line in the third quarter and a late go-ahead touchdown by the Chiefs hadn't been called back. Joe Flacco's late scramble for a first down saved the Ravens from a down-to-the-wire finish that could have gone the wrong way. They'll gladly take the result and the 4-1 record, but they were fortunate to be playing a troubled team that almost seemed afraid to win.

Ryan Mink: Another ugly win. As advertised, Kansas City is talented – especially in the ground game with running back Jamaal Charles. But they turn the ball over way too much and have inconsistency under center. The Ravens weren't able to capitalize on those mistakes with touchdowns, but they did just enough to get out with a victory. That includes picking up a final game-sealing first down by mere inches. Joe Flacco didn't have a great game, but after beating a lot of teams with his arm, he took down the Chiefs with his legs, converting a huge third down with a 16-yard run on the Ravens' final drive. The Ravens run defense was gouged in the first half, but did a much better job in the second half. Still, Baltimore will have a lot of things to correct. But it's a lot better to do that at 4-1 than 3-2.

Garrett Downing: The Ravens struggled to do much of anything on offense and the defense was gashed by a powerful Kansas City Chiefs running game. But in the stat that matters the most, the Ravens came away with a 9-6 victory at Arrowhead Stadium to improve to 4-1 on the year. Turnovers were the difference in this game, as the Chiefs turned the ball over four times, including once from the Ravens' goal line. All of the Ravens' points came off turnovers. The performance of the offense will be a focus following this game, as Joe Flacco had his worst game of the season, throwing for 187 yards and one interception on just 13-of-27 passing. The defense also will be subject to criticism after allowing running back Jamaal Charles to have a big game. But all of those corrections will be much easier to handle after the Ravens came away with a gritty victory.

Sarah Ellison: The Chiefs cough up four turnovers, yet the Ravens are clinging to a 9-6 lead with minutes remaining? A win is a win in the NFL, but Baltimore didn't earn any style points and didn't inspire confidence moving forward. The offense struggled with drops and converting on third downs. It didn't score a touchdown for the first time since Nov. of 2011. The defense gave up huge chunks of yards and was fortunate to face the league's worst in turnovers. The Ravens will take the 4-1 record on the road in what was a trap game and have plenty to work on moving forward.

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