The last time the Baltimore Ravens played the Kansas City Chiefs, it was the Wild Card Round of the 2011 NFL playoffs. The result was a 30-7 Ravens victory then and while last night was only a pre-season game, the results were almost the same. The Ravens broke open a close game late and ran away from the Chiefs to win 31-13 Friday night in Baltimore's M&T Bank Stadium.
Four rushing touchdowns highlighted the Ravens scoring, with the most impressive being the 26 yard scamper by Ray Rice off of a great block by new fullback Vonta Leach. Just prior to the TD run, Leach had perhaps the best hit of the day, pancaking Chiefs linebacker, Brandon Siler, after taking a short pass from QB Joe Flacco in the flat and turning upfield to smash Siler, despite losing his helmet in the process.
Flacco played the entire first half, finishing 12 of 24 for 124 yards, no touchdowns but more importantly, no interceptions. He was not sacked in the game, but was forced out of the pocket to scramble numerous times, continuing the concern about the Ravens offensive line. For the full box score, see it all at Yahoo! Sports.
The Ravens starting defense was without their vocal leader, as Ray Lewis was excused from the game for personal issues. The defense looked relatively solid other than the game tying touchdown drive late in the first half by Kansas City. They sacked the Chiefs' quarterbacks five times and could have had a few more including at least one turnover that was overturned by the officials after the Chiefs threw the red Challenge Flag.
The stars of the game were WR Lee Evans on offense and Pernell McPhee on defense. Evans caught three passes for 68 yards, including a sweet 43 yarder from Flacco. McPhee seemed to be in the Chiefs backfield harassing the QB all evening. CB Cary Williams broke up three passes but looked way out of place on the Chiefs TD pass that tied the game with seconds left in the first half.
Once again, it is only an exhibition game and while both the Ravens offense and defense looked better than they did in the 13-6 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles last week, the improved play by certain players give hope that the team is headed in the right direction.