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Defense stands tall, but 'it's not enough'

What did you expect the players on the Ravens' defense to do? Point fingers?

In public, that's not the way it works, even after a performance in which the Ravens held one of the NFL's most potent offenses to one touchdown and still lost, 17-10, to the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday.

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The only thing to do is to look forward to the next game two weeks away.

"If something goes wrong, you're a little frustrated," linebacker Ed Hartwell said, "but by the same token, things happen, and you have to move on to the next week and have a short memory."

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The mission for the Ravens - who came into the game ranked 13th in the NFL in total defense - was to do what few others have done over the past two seasons: stop former Ravens tailback Priest Holmes, quarterback Trent Green and the Chiefs, who entered the game averaging 36.7 points.

The challenge apparently failed to intimidate the Ravens, who kept Kansas City from crossing midfield for almost the entire first half. They finally scored after safety Ed Reed's sack of Green caused a 12-yard loss and forced the Chiefs to settle for a field goal with 3:23 left in the second quarter.

"We could have done better, but the K.C. offense is all about Priest Holmes and Tony Gonzalez and Trent Green, and I can't count the number of three-and-outs that we made them have," safety Gary Baxter said.

"We're the only defense to play K.C. that tough this year and they're supposed to be No. 1."

Because of the Ravens' defense, the Chiefs had to rely on their newfound competence on defense to compensate for their struggles on offense - 265 yards to the Ravens' 326 - as Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil admitted.

"This is a tough, physical team we played here," he said, "and we had to rely on our defense and special teams and they did a great job."

But as far as the defense was concerned, moments of slippage cost the Ravens the game. On their first defensive series of the second half, the Ravens allowed 65 yards of a 76-yard Chiefs drive on three plays.

A 14-yard run up the middle by Holmes, 36 yards on an end-around by Johnnie Morton and 15 yards on a catch by Jason Dunn set up a 1-yard touchdown catch by Gonzalez.

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"It's all right, but when you lose, it's not enough," Ravens linebacker Peter Boulware said. "It's all right, but all right gets you beaten. We have to look at the film and look at ways to get better."

Defense delivers

Despite losing, the Ravens stymied the Chiefs' fourth-ranked offense yesterday, holding Kansas City well below several of its key season averages:

Statistic...Season...Yest.

Points*...27.3...10

First downs... 21.7...15

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3rd-down eff. ...46%...29%

Total yards...366.0...265

Rush yards...152.3...129

Pass yards...213.7...136

Avg. gain per play...5.8...4.5

Time of possession...31:50...28:45

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*-Does not include return TDs.


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