It wasn't pretty, but thanks to three field goals from Justin Tucker the Baltimore Ravens took a 9-6 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Ray Rice carried the ball 17 times for 102 yards and added a 16-yard catch while Joe Flacco was a mediocre 13-for-27 with 187 yards and an interception for the Ravens (4-1), who have won three straight after dropping a game in Philadelphia. Anquan Boldin had four catches for 82 yards.
"We didn't do a really good job of executing in the first half," said Flacco. "In the second half I thought we played well and got rolling. But some of the drives we hurt ourselves with penalties and bad plays. We got the win, though and at the end of the day that's all that counts."
Matt Cassel had a tough day, getting picked off twice and losing a fumble before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a head injury for the Chiefs (1-4), who have dropped their past two after an overtime win against New Orleans. Jamaal Charles carried the ball 30 times for 140 yards in the loss.
"It was a hard-fought battle and I'm proud of the way the guys played the game," said Kansas City head coach Romeo Crennel. "Even though I'm disappointed about the loss, I'm happy with the effort the guys had. We have to get better, but you can't fault the effort the guys showed out there."
Kansas City caught a break as Deonte Thompson fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half and KC recovered at the Baltimore 29. The team came away empty, though, thanks to another turnover.
After a pass interference call got the ball down to the 1-yard line, a bad snap saw the ball roll into the end zone Ed Reed recovered, taking the ball to the 12-yard line.
A 43-yard catch by Boldin followed by a 26-yard run from Rice got the Ravens into scoring position and Tucker hit a 26-yard field goal with eight minutes left in the third for a 6-3 lead.
Later in the third, Flacco was picked off by Brandon Flowers, but Cassel returned the ball two plays later on an interception by Cary Williams.
That pickoff bore fruit as the team went 56 yards in nine plays and Tucker hit a 39-yard field goal on the final play of the third quarter for a 9-3 advantage.
After an exchange of punts, Kansas City got the ball at its own 30 and Cassel left two plays later. Brady Quinn took over under center and his first pass went 20 yards to Dwayne Bowe. Later in the drive, Quinn hit Bowe over the middle and he took it into the end zone, but the play was nullified by an offensive pass interference call on an illegal pick. Ryan Succop hit a 31-yard field goal with 4:31 to play and it was a 9-6 game.
Kansas City appeared to have Baltimore contained as a sack on Flacco put the Ravens in a 3rd-and-15, but he carried the ball himself for a 16-yard gain to move the chains. Another first down then allowed Baltimore to kill off the rest of the clock for a win.
The game started slowly as each team punted on its first two possessions, but Cassel fumbled near midfield on Kansas City's third touch and Baltimore recovered at the KC 42.
After an illegal block call on Baltimore, Rice took a handoff 37 yards down to the KC 12. The drive stalled there and Tucker hit a 28-yard field goal to give the Ravens a 3-0 lead with 1:21 left in the first.
Cassel was picked off on the Chiefs' next drive, but the Ravens were unable to take advantage and had to punt. Terrance Copper returned the punt 25 yards to give the team the ball at their own 35.
The team held the ball for over six minutes and ran 13 plays before going to Succop for a 30-yard field goal to tie the game with under three minutes to play in the half.
The Chiefs have not led a game in regulation this season ... Kansas City hasn't scored a touchdown on its opening drive in 22 straight games, the longest active streak in the NFL ... The Chiefs outgained the Ravens, 338-298, and held the ball for 34:10 ... Baltimore hosts Dallas next Sunday ... The Chiefs play in Tampa Bay next Sunday ... Baltimore has won the past four games against Kansas City.