Each week, Baltimore Sun reporters Aaron Wilson and Matt Vensel will look back at the Ravens' previous game and that of their next opponent.
Ravens 9, Chiefs 6
Strategy: The trend of offensive coordinator Cam Cameron reducing usage of the no-huddle in noisy road venues continued at Arrowhead Stadium. The Ravens used the no-huddle on 13 of 55 plays. Production dipped to 298 yards, and the offense converted just three of 11 third downs. Dean Pees' halftime adjustment of shifting the defensive line wider and walking up the linebackers likely prevented a defeat after the Ravens were gashed by Jamaal Charles in the first half. Single coverage was the primary scheme against Dwayne Bowe, and it worked solidly with cornerbacks Cary Williams and Lardarius Webb each intercepting passes when targeted.
Personnel: Bullish fullback Vonta Leach's physical presence on 31 total plays with 18 runs translated into big holes for Ray Rice to rumble through for 102 yards on 17 carries primarily out of the I formation. Rice played 86 percent of the snaps. Tight end Ed Dickson started, playing 37 snaps, eight more than Dennis Pitta. Linebacker Jameel McClain's playing time increased against the run-first attack with 48 snaps to Dannell Ellerbe's 23. Nose guards Ma'ake Kemoeatu (39 plays) and Terrence Cody (21 plays) rotated. Paul Kruger's role expanded to 57 snaps even though Albert McClellan (21 snaps) started opposite rookie outside linebacker Courtney Upshaw (58 plays).
What went right: Rice's open-field skills and leg drive kept the Chiefs honest. Anquan Boldin played through a leg issue and had four catches for 82 yards, including a season-long 43-yarder. Joe Flacco's critical 16-yard scramble showed awareness and foot speed. Bernard Pollard was a more active tackling presence. With three tackles for loss, this was Kruger's top game as a run-stopper. Pernell McPhee had a strong second half. Charles gained only 15 rushing yards in the second half. Upshaw fought through a double team for a fumble recovery, his biggest play yet as a rookie. Haloti Ngata knocked a struggling Matt Cassel out of the game with a devastating hit.