1. Besides a collection of penalties that included two touchdowns being
negated, the Baltimore Ravens continually tipped their hand as far as their desire
to force the football to Pro Bowl tight end Todd Heap. It created three
interceptions, two by cornerback Dexter McCleon, within a frustrating 17-10 defeat
to the Kansas City Chiefs that was an extremely winnable football game. Rookie
quarterback Kyle Boller chalked it up to another learning experience, a mantra
the first-round draft pick has already grown tired of reciting four games
into his NFL career. He compiled a 33.0 quarterback rating.
2. The Ravens' offense has been relegated to simply tossing it up long and
high in relying on the athleticism of Heap as a change of pace to powerhouse
running back Jamal Lewis. That's a negative indicator of the other options
available to Boller, and the play-calling was eerily similar to what transpired
successfully in San Diego, which was obviously studied by the Chiefs' secondary.
3. A top-notch effort at containing Chiefs' Pro Bowl return specialist Dante
Hall evaporated in the fourth quarter when he dashed 97 yards on a kickoff for
the game-winning score one play after he was tackled by Will Demps. Adalius
Thomas was flagged for offsides, though. On the ensuing kickoff, Baltimore
didn't appear to stay in their coverage lanes and the speedster eluded kicker Wade
Richey to put the game away.
4. Lewis rushed for 115 yards on 26 carries and caught four passes for 44
yards to out-duel former Ravens starter Priest Holmes (90 yards). With assistance
from Chester Taylor, Baltimore (2-2) had 202 rushing yards on 36 attempts.
They should have ran it even more.
5. The Ravens' excellent defensive effort in holding the top scoring offense
in the NFL to 10 points was squandered because of inopportune penalties and
turnovers. Plus, safety Ed Reed muffed a punt after return specialist Lamont
Brightful suffered a concussion.
-- Aaron Wilson