Ravens 30

(12-4, 5-3 away)

Chiefs 7

(10-6, 7-1 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, January 9, 2011

Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO 

1 2 3 4 T
BAL 3 7 13 730
KC 7 0 0 07

Top Performers

Passing: J. Flacco (BAL) - 265 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: J. Charles (KC) - 9 CAR, 82 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: T. Heap (BAL) - 10 REC, 108 YDS

Joe Flacco steers Ravens to divisional round as D smothers Chiefs

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Ray Lewis knows a championship defense when he sees one. Now the Kansas City Chiefs do, too.

Lewis and Baltimore's tough and savvy defense overwhelmed the young Chiefs on Sunday, sacking Matt Cassel three times and forcing five turnovers in a 30-7 victory in the opening round of the playoffs.

The Chiefs (10-7), who won the AFC West with a six-game improvement and took pride in not beating themselves, managed just 25 yards in the second half.

"To set records is one thing," said Lewis, who forced a fumble and had a sack in the second-half dismantling of the Chiefs. "To come out and play the way we've played in the third quarter all year and the last two weeks, just giving up seven points to opponents, that's championship-caliber football."

Baltimore (13-4) broke open a close game with a touchdown and two field goals off turnovers in the second half. Joe Flacco threw two touchdown passes, Billy Cundiff kicked three field goals and Willis McGahee closed out the scoring with a 25-yard run in the fourth quarter.

The Ravens will head to Pittsburgh next Saturday, renewing one of the league's fiercest rivalries. They split their season series with the Steelers, with each team winning on the other's home field.

Kansas City finishes the season saddled with an NFL-record seventh straight playoff loss, dating back 17 years.

"Our defense played phenomenal," Ravens running back Ray Rice said. "They came out in the second half and gutted that offense. It was impressive. It's impressive to be a part of this."

On a raw, windy afternoon, with temperatures hovering in the low 20s, Flacco and Cundiff took advantage of three interceptions by Cassel and fumbles by Dexter McCluster and Jamaal Charles to pull away. Pro Bowlers Lewis safety Ed Reed led the charge.

"You just come in and make up your mind when things start going your way they start going your way," Lewis said. "We knew that this was a very tough place to come play. They have a very talented ball club. We were able to show them and that's kind of how we are built. We are built for 60 minutes."

In an emotional postgame locker room, the Ravens gave the game ball to Reed. On Friday morning, his family said they believe a young man who jumped into the Mississippi River trying to elude police was probably his younger brother, Brian Reed. The search for a body at the scene in Louisiana has been called off.

"Just being there for strength, respect for what's going on," Reed said of his teammates he calls his second family. "They just gave me the team ball for my family.

"My family kept me focused. My older brother called me and told me, `Do what you do. You handle your business, we'll take care of everything over here.'"

It was a week of heartache for the Ravens in more ways. Earlier in the week, the sister of linebackers coach Dean Pees died.

"Any time you lose someone like that it just draws every one of us closer," Lewis said. "Not to put Coach P's business out there, but he lost his oldest sister this week too. So as a team we had to balance that out. We had to channel our emotions."

The Ravens led 10-7 in the third quarter when Kansas City lost a fourth-and-inches gamble and then collapsed, quickly.

Dawan Landry stopped the play, throwing Charles for a 5-yard loss. On the next play, Tamba Hali drew a 15-yard penalty for a late hit on Flacco and the Ravens drove in for Cundiff's 29-yard field goal, making it 13-7 with 6:36 left in the third.

A moment later, Lewis put a jarring hit on McCluster, knocking the ball loose. Chris Carr recovered on the Kansas City 17, leading to another 29-yarder by Cundiff.

Then, a harried Cassel was intercepted by Landry, who angled left to the 21. An illegal block on Baltimore's Cory Redding pushed the Ravens back 10 yards, but Flacco made sure to convert this opportunity into a touchdown.

On second down, he connected with McGahee for 20 yards, then followed with a 13-yard completion to tight end Todd Heap, who had 10 catches for 108 yards. On second-and-4, Flacco fired it over the middle to Anquan Boldin in the back of the end zone, beating cornerback Brandon Flowers and giving the Ravens a 23-7 lead.

"We turned the ball over and that's not characteristic of us," Pro Bowl left guard Brian Waters said. "When we had to make plays, we weren't able to. When they had to make plays, they did. You can't turn the ball over."

With a little more than four minutes left in the game, McGahee went over the middle on fourth-and-1 and broke into the secondary, dragging a tackler with him into the end zone at the end of a 25-yard run.

Charles gave the Chiefs a 7-3 lead in the first quarter with a 41-yard scoring run after Hali sacked and stripped the ball from Flacco, recovering it himself.

The Chiefs' postseason drought stretches to the AFC championship game at Buffalo in January of 1994. The losing streak includes four different coaches.

"It was a tough one," Chiefs coach Todd Haley said. "I thought we got great experience for a lot of young guys that hadn't been part of this."

Game notes

In first quarter, Baltimore ran 27 plays, the Chiefs ran 5 but still led 7-3. ... Charles' 41-yard TD run is the second-longest in Chiefs postseason history. ... Flacco tied Dan Marino for most wins in first three years of career with 36. ... Flacco and John Harbaugh are first QB-coach duo to start career together and reach playoffs first three years.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs268
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays7840
Total Yards390161
Yards per play5.04.0
Total Drives1010
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)2-50-0
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

balFG9:04Billy Cundiff 19 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 14 plays, 69 yds, 5:59
kcTD2:17Jamaal Charles 41 Yard Run (Ryan Succop Kick is Good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 46 yds, 0:49
balTD0:25Ray Rice 9 Yard Pass From Joe Flacco (Billy Cundiff Kick is Good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yds, 5:30
balFG6:39Billy Cundiff 29 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 7 plays, 51 yds, 3:02
balFG4:24Billy Cundiff 29 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 4 plays, 6 yds, 1:20
balTD0:32Anquan Boldin 4 Yard Pass From Joe Flacco (Billy Cundiff Kick is Good)
Drive info: 6 plays, 31 yds, 2:59
balTD4:32Willis Mcgahee 25 Yard Run (Billy Cundiff Kick is Good)
Drive info: 15 plays, 80 yds, 10:20

Research Notes

The 30 points scored by the Ravens are the third-most they've scored in the 14 postseason games. The only games they scored more were Super Bowl XXXV, when they beat the Giants, 34-7 and the 2009 AFC Wild Card round, when they beat the Patriots, 33-14.
NEXT-LEVEL: Only Peyton Manning completed more passing touchdowns, 19, between the painted numbers during the regular season than Joe Flacco and Drew Brees, 18 each. The Ravens were able to control the clock and the middle of the field Sunday, with Flacco out-passing Matt Cassel in that area.
NEXT-LEVEL: Dwayne Bowe was not targeted on a single play in Sunday's Wild Card game. It was the first time all season that happened for the NFL's leading receiver with 15 touchdowns.
NEXT-LEVEL: Joe Flacco and the Ravens combatted an active Kansas City pass rush by running short routes and getting the ball out quickly. Flacco threw over 67 percent of his passes to receivers within five yards of the line of scrimmage, including nine of Todd Heap's season-high 13 targets. Heap caught seven of those nine passes for 61 yards and five first downs.
NEXT-LEVEL: Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel couldn't handle extra pressure from the Ravens Sunday, despite his success handling five or more pass rushers in the regular season. Cassel's passer rating was the second worst he posted against extra pressure this season (14.2 rating, Week 2 vs Browns).
NEXT-LEVEL: No running back gained more yards or had more first downs on sideline rushes than Jamaal Charles did this season. However, Charles was quiet down the sidelines on Sunday before leaving the game in the third quarter. Charles's numbers included a 4th-and-1 pitch play to the right sideline in the third quarter that went for a four-yard loss and a turnover on downs, after which the Chiefs were outscored 20-0.
NEXT-LEVEL: The Chiefs led the NFL in lowest completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdowns and passer rating allowed on pass rushes that used a member of the secondary in the regular season. On Sunday, the Ravens made those league-best numbers look average and had excellent success when blitzing a member of the secondary against Matt Cassel.
After leading by only 3 points at halftime, the Ravens came out and dominated the 2nd half, outscoring the Chiefs 20 to O while holding Kansas City to only 25 yards of offense. Baltimore also forced 4 turnovers in the second half alone after Chiefs turned the ball over only 14 times all season, second fewest in the NFL in 2010.

RavensThe Ravens forced five turnovers in their wild-card game over the Chiefs. In each of the last three years, the Ravens have forced at least four turnovers in the wild-card round.


ChiefsKansas City fell to 3-12 in the postseason since the NFL merger. Only the Lions, who are 1-9 in the playoffs since the merger, have a worse record than the Chiefs.

From Elias: In the midst of their NFL record 7 game postseason losing streak, they have also lost 4 straight home playoff games, which is the longest streak of any NFL teams since the merger. Kansas City has not won a home playoff game since defeating the Steelers at home in the 1993 Wild Card round.
Matt Cassel finished 9/18 for 70 yards, 3 interceptions and a passer rating of 20.4. How awful of a performance was that? Its just the third playoff game since the merger that a quarterback has finished with fewer than 75 passing yards with at least 3 interceptions. The others? Dave Krieg for the Seahawks in 1983 and Craig Morton for the Broncos in 1977.
This will be the third Ravens-Steelers postseason meeting, with each one in Pittsburgh.

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