KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Baltimore Ravens had relied on their offense through the first four games of the season.
This time, their fearsome defense decided to show up.
Ray Rice ran for 101 yards, Justin Tucker made all three of his field goal attempts and the Ravens kept the Kansas City Chiefs out of the end zone late to preserve a 9-6 victory Sunday.
Joe Flacco threw for 187 yards and was picked off once, but the Ravens (4-1) were still able to come up with enough points to beat the Chiefs (1-4), who turned it over four more times.
Matt Cassel threw for just 92 yards, was intercepted twice and credited with two lost fumbles before leaving in the fourth quarter with what the Chiefs described as a head injury.
The Chiefs have committed 19 turnovers through their first five games, the most this early since the New Orleans Saints had 21 of them to start the 1997 season.
Brady Quinn entered the game in place of Cassel and led Kansas City downfield, but a pass interference penalty by Dexter McCluster negated what would have been a go-ahead touchdown pass to Dwayne Bowe. The Chiefs had to settle for another field goal by Ryan Succop and play defense.
The Ravens managed to convert two third downs and run out the clock.
Jamaal Charles ran 30 times for 140 yards for the Chiefs, all but 15 yards coming in the first half. Bowe caught six passes for 60 yards — but his one catch that didn't count proved critical.
Quinn, who was 3 of 3 for 32 yards passing on his only series, was greeted by applause from Kansas City fans when he entered the game. Some of them had paid for a banner to be flown behind an airplane before the game asking for Cassel to be benched — and for Chiefs ownership to fire general manager Scott Pioli, the architect of a team that can't stop beating itself.
Kansas City spent most of the first half handing off to Charles and backup running back Shaun Draughn, doing everything in their power to keep from having to make Cassel win the game.
Charles responded most of the first two quarters, routinely gashing the Ravens defense for big gains. He had 125 yards rushing at halftime, more yards than Baltimore had as an offense.
The Ravens' veteran defense, anchored by Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, always responded with its back against the wall, though. They forced a punt, a fumble on a pitch from Cassel to Cyrus Gray and an interception the first three times Kansas City ventured into their territory.
Baltimore took advantage of the Chiefs' first turnover when Tucker connected from 28 yards out with 1:21 left in the first quarter, but Flacco and Co. couldn't get much else going on offense.
Flacco was just 7 of 17 for 64 yards and was sacked twice in the first half.
Succop's 30-yard field goal late in the first half tied the game, but the Chiefs wasted an opportunity to put more points on the board. Rather than take a shot at the end zone from the Baltimore 43 with seconds left in the half, Chiefs coach Romeo Crennel elected to punt.
Kansas City had another chance to pull ahead after Baltimore fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half. Pass interference gave the Chiefs the ball at the 1-yard line, but Cassel fumbled the snap and Reed recovered it, keeping the game knotted 3-all.
Tucker added a 26-yard field goal moments later, and after Cassel was picked off on a pass that bounced off Bowe's helmet, Tucker hit again from 39 yards to make it 9-3.
Cassel was hurt midway through the fourth quarter when he was tackled by Haloti Ngata while completing a pass to Charles out of the backfield. Cassel remained flat on the ground for a couple minutes before walking off the field and up the tunnel.
Quinn entered and led the Chiefs to a field goal, but Flacco scrambled for 16 yards on third-and-15 with a couple minutes left in the game, and Rice plunged ahead for another first down on third-and-1 with just over a minute remaining to seal the outcome.
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company