Ravens get pushed around

Holmes rushes for 125 as Kansas City offense dominates Ravens `D'

Chiefs rack up 398 total yards

K.C. controls the clock for 1st win

big plays keep Ravens in game

Chiefs 27, Ravens 24

October 05, 2004|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

The Ravens let their chance on football's biggest regular-season stage slip through their fingers.

In a game in which they were outplayed, the Ravens failed in their last two offensive drives to deliver a comeback, falling to the previously winless Kansas City Chiefs, 27-24, last night before a sellout crowd of 69,827 at M&T Bank Stadium.

The Ravens' last hope - a long pass from Kyle Boller to Kevin Johnson on fourth down - tipped off Johnson's hands and out of his grasp. It closed a night in which the Ravens were thoroughly outplayed and outgained, 398-207, but kept it close with big plays.

It marked the Ravens' first loss in four Monday Night Football games.

The Ravens were manhandled, leaving linebacker Ray Lewis with a bloody nose at one point, as the Chiefs methodically moved the ball all game. Kansas City scored on 10-, nine-, 14-, 12- and 13-play drives, controlling the clock and the tempo.

In a contest in which they were thoroughly out played, the Ravens kept the game close with trickery (a 57-yard touchdown pass to Randy Hymes off a flea flicker of sorts), a big special teams play (a 58-yard punt return by B.J. Sams for a score) and a fourth-quarter drive marked by two defensive penalties inside the 8-yard line.

But the brief flashes of hope were stomped away by the running of Kansas City running back Priest Holmes (125 yards rushing) and the flat Ravens offense. Holmes became the first back to crack 100 yards in nine games against the Ravens.

Ravens running back Jamal Lewis, who is expected to plead guilty Thursday to avoid a federal drug trial, was a nonfactor, held to 73 yards on 15 carries.

The Ravens (2-2) fell a game behind the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1) in the AFC North.

Most of the talk entering the Ravens' first Monday night game in two years surrounded running back Jamal Lewis and his legal situation. On the game's first play from scrimmage, Lewis broke his most impressive run of the first half by charging 18 yards to midfield.

Six plays later, Boller's 6-yard pass to tight end Terry Jones was short of a first down but got the Ravens within field goal range. Matt Stover's 50-yard kick, his longest in two years, gave a 3-0 lead to the Ravens, who scored on their opening drive for the third straight game.

Kansas City's first series was mistake-filled from beginning to end for the Ravens.

Kickoff specialist Wade Richey hit the ball out of bounds (the second time he has done so this season) to set the Chiefs up at their 40-yard line. After Kansas City quickly moved into the red zone on a 17-yard pass to tight end Jason Dunn and a 19-yarder to receiver Johnnie Morton, an uncovered Dunn slipped past safety Will Demps and caught a 3-yard touchdown pass.

It was the first points allowed by the Ravens in the first quarter this season and the first touchdown in 16 possessions allowed by their defense.

The Ravens dug themselves a 10-3 hole by the second Kansas City series, as they provided the Chiefs with more help. Two defensive penalties - pass interference on Chris McAlister and unnecessary roughness on Terrell Suggs - accounted for 24 of the 53 yards on the Chiefs' scoring drive, which was capped late in the first quarter by Lawrence Tynes' 42-yard field goal.

The Ravens' offense had fallen into a lull with back-to-back series without a first down before resorting to some trickery.

Jamal Lewis took a pitch right, drawing the entire defense to his side, and then lateraled it back to Boller, who tossed it 60 yards in the air to a wide-open Hymes. After getting tripped up inside the 10-yard line, Hymes tumbled into the end zone to complete the 57-yard play. The longest pass of the Ravens' season tied the game at 10 early in the second quarter.

The quick score was answered by the longest drive against the Ravens since their inaugural season (1996) in terms of time. The Chiefs marched 79 yards on 14 plays, using 8:08.

Green's 13-yard scramble converted a third-and-nine in the red zone, where Holmes closed out the marathon by hurdling 4 yards into the end zone. The first touchdown scored by a running back against the Ravens this season put Kansas City ahead 17-10 with 3:42 left in the second quarter.

After the teams traded three-and-outs, the Ravens needed a big play to bounce back once again.

While most of the pre-game hype on special teams focused on Kansas City's Dante Hall, it was Sams who proved more electrifying with 1:30 remaining before halftime. Sams ran back a punt 58 yards untouched for a touchdown, as three Chiefs dived at his feet during the undrafted rookie's first score.

That gave the Ravens a 17-17 tie in a first half in which they were outgained 212-105 and dominated in time of possession (21:40 to 8:20).

The second half offered no answers for the Kansas City offense.

The Chiefs pulled out to a 27-17 advantage by scoring on their first two drives in deliberate fashion. The 11- and 13-play drives combined to take more than 12 minutes off the clock.

After Tynes' 38-yard field goal in the third quarter and another forgettable Ravens possession, Kansas City went the length of the field on a drive that included runs on eight of 13 plays. Holmes' 1-yard dive - gave the Chiefs a 10-point lead on the first play of the fourth quarter.

Special returns

Rookie B.J. Sams accounted for 188 yards and one touchdown on five returns in the first half last night against Kansas City.

Return Quarter Yards

Kickoff First 25

Kickoff First 20

Kickoff First 44

Kickoff Second 41

Punt Second 58*

* - Touchdown

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