The Ravens made a living on winning ugly for years. So consider Sunday’s 9-6 victory over the Chiefs a throwback.
It might not have been the most thrilling or statistically sound offensive showing. But the Ravens don’t likely care that no one broke the goal-line plane.
All nine points came off Kansas City turnovers, so it didn’t matter that Baltimore finished with an unimpressive 298 yards. The Chiefs didn’t fare much better with just 338.
A big key to the win was the Ravens’ ability to neutralize Jamaal Charles, one of the NFL’s top tailbacks, in the second half. Charles ran for 125 yards in the first half before being held to just 15 over the last two quarters. He finished with 30 rushes for 140 yards.
Ray Rice led the Ravens with his second 100-yard rushing day in three weeks, gaining 102 yards on 17 carries. Quarterback Joe Flacco overcame a sluggish start for a so-so day. He completed 13 of 27 passes for 187 yards and one interception.
Anquan Boldin stood out among the receivers with four catches for 82 yards.
Justin Tucker provided all the scoring, making all three of his field-goal tries, each of which were shorter than 40 yards. The rookie kicker has now made 11 of 12 attempts this season.
It’s an easy game to nitpick. The Ravens’ no-huddle offense clearly hasn’t made enough strides with its communication to excel on the road, even against a defense as underwhelming as the Chiefs’. The defense had more trouble stopping the run, albeit against a runner who causes everyone problems.
But the Ravens won, they’re 4-1 and bet is they’re not complaining about that.