Ravens manhandled by Chiefs

BALTIMORE - Ray Lewis collapsed under the weight of burly offensive guard Will Shields' powerful block as Priest Holmes leapt over the top of the Baltimore Ravens' defense in the fourth quarter for a touchdown. <br><br> It was that sort of outing for the Ravens as the previously-winless Kansas City Chiefs manhandled them on the ground behind Holmes, the one-time Baltimore starter, for a 27-24 victory Monday night before 69,827 at M&T Bank Stadium.

Holmes stole the show and wore the Ravens out. Kansas City controlled the football for nearly 40 minutes with superior brawn and bulk
Once the mentor to Ravens All-Pro rusher Jamal Lewis during Baltimore's Super Bowl campaign, Holmes rushed for a game-high 125 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries. The Chiefs gained 25 first downs to the Ravens' 13.

Holmes' performance broke the Ravens' nine-game streak of holding opposing runners under 100 yards.

Instead of flexing defensive muscle before a national audience, the Ravens (2-2) were exploited by Holmes as they allowed Kansas City (1-3) to win their first game of the season.

The Chiefs' massive offensive line cleared gaping holes for Holmes to burst through and gave quarterback Trent Green plenty of time to pick apart the Ravens' secondary.

Green completed 21 of 33 passes for 223 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions.

Baltimore closed the gap to 27-24 with a 1-yard Lewis touchdown one play after cornerback Eric Warfield's interception was negated by his defensive holding penalty when he grabbed Ravens receiver Randy Hymes.
The Ravens trailed 20-17 entering the fourth quarter after Lawrence Tynes' 38-yard field goal.

The Chiefs thoroughly dominated the first half, controlling the football for 21:40 and outgaining Baltimore 212 yards to 105. Yet, the score was still tied at 17 by halftime.

Between a Kyle Boller flea-flicker pass for a touchdown and scintillating 58-yard punt return from rookie B.J. Sams, Baltimore accounted for 14 points on two plays.

Boller pitched the football to Lewis, who took a few steps toward the right sideline, before tossing it back to the quarterback. Boller's pass to Hymes sailed a little too long in the air, but Kansas City free safety Jerome Woods couldn't catch up to the 57-yard rainbow for the Ravens' longest passing play this season to tie the score at 10.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs marched all over Baltimore with Holmes and precision passing from Green.

Holmes rushed for 77 first-half yards on 22 carries and Green completed 10 of his first 15 passes for 107 yards, a touchdown and a 109.6 passer rating.

The Chiefs' most impressive drive followed offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh's gadget play.

With Holmes carrying the football seven times and capping it with a 4-yard touchdown run, the Chiefs manufactured a 14-play, 79-yard drive that lasted a staggering 8:08.

One play after Green eluded outside linebacker Adalius Thomas' grasp for a 13-yard scramble, Holmes followed fullback Tony Richard's isolation block on Ray Lewis to build a 17-10 lead.

With 1:30 remaining, Sams started to his right and then cut back to his left and eluded the Chiefs' pursuit behind a convoy of blockers to tie the game.

Baltimore began the game authoritatively enough as Lewis took a pitchout around left end for 18 yards.

Seven plays later, Matt Stover edged a 50-yard field goal a few feet over the crossbar for his longest field goal since an Oct. 13 2002 game at Indianapolis.

After Baltimore began the game with a 3-0 advantage on the opening drive, the Chiefs answered immediately.

Instead of targeting Pro Bowl tight end Tony Gonzalez right away, Green chose a seldom-used alternative: blocking tight end Jason Dunn.
Dunn, who entered the game with one reception, slipped behind free safety Will Demps for a 3-yard touchdown catch.

The score represents the first points surrendered by Baltimore in the first quarter this season.

Demps appeared confused in coverage and was caught flat-footed when Dunn ran a crossing pattern behind his back for the score.

Earlier on the drive, Dunn caught a 17-yard pass to the Ravens' 32 before Demps dragged him down. Dunn's score was set up by a 19-yard pass to Johnnie Morton.

Two Baltimore defensive penalties helped stake the Chiefs to a 10-3 first-quarter lead.

First, cornerback Chris McAlister was flagged for pass interference. Then, outside linebacker Terrell Suggs was called for unnecessary roughness for hitting after the whistle.

The Chiefs gained 24 yards in penalties out of their 53 on the drive before Tynes' 52-yard field goal.

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

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