Baltimore Ravens fans react while watching the Ravens Chiefs game at Mother's Grille.

A grueling five-point loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday drew groans of disappointment from Ravens fans watching in Baltimore, but few were ready to write off the team’s playoff prospects.

Instead, they focused on the pounding presence of running backs Mark Ingram II and Gus Edwards. On the defense holding Patrick Mahomes’ high-octane attack scoreless in the first quarter. And on quarterback Lamar Jackson, who persevered through an overall lackluster passing performance to march the team downfield multiple times in the second half, dancing around defenders the goal line to run the final touchdown in himself.


“When tested, we’re going to hang with the best of the best of the NFL,” said Luke Smith, 27, of Federal Hill, who watched at Mother’s Bar and Grille on South Charles Street.

In that first major test, in Week 3 of a challenging regular-season schedule, fans were divided on the gutsy play calling of coach John Harbaugh and his staff, which resulted in two missed 2-point conversion attempts and a turnover on downs on a fourth-and-2 in Ravens territory that led to the Chiefs’ second touchdown.

“Individual players can play as hard as they can,” said Rejie Abraham, 28, of Catonsville. "But if the coaching staff makes big mistakes, it’s over.”

Smith said he liked the aggressive calls, which he said showed the Ravens were “not afraid to risk it.”

“Trust the ball in Lamar’s hands,” he said. “It was nice to see us come out of the half and trust the ball on the run.”

As the game ended, Eric Moore, 28, of Baltimore wished Harbaugh had taken a more conservative approach.

“Don’t go for 2. Don’t gamble," he said. “You took points off the board.”

The Chiefs’ first possession was all Candice Beitler needed to see.

When the Ravens forced a punt after Kansas City’s 7-play opening drive, the Federal Hill woman in the Earl Thomas III jersey bought a plane ticket to Miami in February for the Super Bowl.

As Baltimore fell behind, and even after the final whistle, she refused to even consider the notion of requesting a refund just three games into the season.

She glanced toward another television and realized with relief that the divisional rival Cincinnati Bengals had lost.

“They’re going to come back from this,” Beitler said of the Ravens. “They left a lot on the table today.”

The Ravens are undergoing a shift from their traditional role as a dominant defensive team to one that relies more heavily on its offensive standouts, said Marco Williams, 28, of Bowie.

“It’s the best offense I’ve watched,” he said. “The offense is better than the defense. They have so much firepower."


Michael Good, 35, of Baltimore was not the only fan in the crowd to refer to Jackson, a second-year pro, as a “superstar.”

“We’ve got to get better in terms of our linebackers, and our secondary has a few holes without Jimmy Smith,” Good said. “We’re the best team in our division, for sure.”

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