KANSAS CITY, Mo. - It was a rough day for the Baltimore Ravens' offense.
Quarterback Joe Flacco completed less than 50 percent of his passes, receivers struggled to get open against a physical Kansas City Chiefs secondary and the Ravens' offensive line surrendered consistent pressure to Kansas City's talented pass rush tandem of Tamba Hali and Justin Houston.
Fortunately for Baltimore, it was an even rougher day for the Chiefs' offense.
And capitalizing on four Kansas City turnovers, including one that came on a first-and-goal from the Ravens' 1-yard line, Baltimore escaped Arrowhead Stadium with what Ravens safety Bernard Pollard acknowledged was an "ugly" 9-6 victory Sunday afternoon.
It was exactly five years to the day since the last time Baltimore (4-1) had won without scoring a single touchdown, the previous time being the Ravens' 9-7 win against the San Francisco 49ers Oct. 7, 2007.
"There is such a thing as an ugly victory," Pollard said. "You're not going to blow everyone out all the time. You're not going to dominate all the time. You're going to come to the point where it's a dogfight, and today was a dogfight."
Flacco finished just 13-of-27 for 187 yards with no touchdowns and one interception.
He was sacked four times - twice each by Hali and Houston.
Hali's second sack appeared to result in a Flacco fumble, which Kansas City (1-4) would have recovered in the end zone for a go-ahead touchdown in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, but referees whistled the play dead prior to the fumble.
So rather than a Chiefs touchdown, the Ravens retained the ball as well as their three-point lead. They picked up a first down on the next play, picked up another three plays later and proceeded to run out the clock.
Baltimore was just 3-of-11 on third down conversions, but picked up two on that final drive of the fourth quarter.
"It feels good to win the game," Flacco said. "That was just part of what we had to do to win the game. They're not always pretty around here, but there's one thing we do around here - we do what we have to do to win the football game.
"I've been saying that for a long time, whether that's throwing for 400 yards or having a crap day and throwing for 100 yards," Flacco added. "We do what we have to do to win the game and we were able to do that [today]."
Anquan Boldin led Baltimore with 82 yards on four catches, but had two uncharacteristic drops during the first half.
Ravens pass catchers had five drops Sunday, most of which came during a first half that ended with the score tied at 3.
Baltimore was outgained 338-298 Sunday, including 216-106 in the first half.
The Ravens picked up just six first downs during the first half.
"They played well," Flacco said of Kansas City's defense. "I think they're a good defense. ... We weren't able to keep those guys on the field. We weren't able to convert. We never really got into a rhythm in the first half. They contested catches, contested passes."
The Chiefs' offense, meanwhile, had success moving the ball against Baltimore's defense.
Kansas City running back Jamaal Charles was limited to just 15 yards on 10 carries during the second half, but finished with 140 yards on 30 carries.
As a team, the Chiefs, intent on running the ball, picked up 214 yards on 50 carries.
They threw the ball only 18 times.
Kansas City ran the ball 34 times during the first half while attempting just seven passes. The 34 runs tied the 2009 New York Jets for the most first-half rushing attempts by any team in the last 20 seasons.
Much-maligned quarterback Matt Cassel was 9-of-15 for 92 yards with two interceptions prior to exiting with a head injury during the fourth quarter.
"Our plan was to go in and try to slow down the game," Charles said. "We were trying to get the ball in my hands and the other running backs' hands."
And the Chiefs had success doing so, especially during the first half. But as has been the case all season for Kansas City's offense, it was derailed by turnovers.
Eight of the Chiefs' 11 possessions stretched into Ravens territory, but Kansas City managed just two Ryan Succop field goals.
Three of the Chiefs' four turnovers came inside Baltimore's 40-yard line, including a botched handoff between Cassel and center Ryan Lilja on a first-and-goal from the Ravens' 1-yard line that Baltimore safety Ed Reed recovered in the end zone to prevent Kansas City from taking the lead early in the second half.
The Ravens' offense followed with a 7-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 26-yard Justin Tucker field goal. The kick gave Baltimore a 6-3 lead midway through the third quarter.
"That was big, obviously," Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. "That ended up being a 10-point swing. It was huge. ... It was important in the football game."
Tucker added another short field goal later in the quarter. But after Kansas City forced a three-and-out on the Ravens' next possession, the Chiefs drove for what looked to be a go-ahead touchdown as backup quarterback Brady Quinn, in for the injured Cassel, hooked up with wide receiver Dwayne Bowe for an apparent 15-yard scoring pass.
But Kansas City was flagged for offensive pass interference on the play, negating the touchdown and forcing the Chiefs to settle for a Succop field goal.
Kansas City's offense never got the ball back.
"The ones that count are never the prettiest," Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis said. "The ones that count the most are the ones that you have to fight through. Anybody on each side of the ball will tell you that they'll take a 'W' before anything. For us to go home right now 4-1 is huge."