Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Chiefs, Ravens Went in Different Directions after Week 6

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Chiefs, Ravens Went in Different Directions after Week 6

Article excerpt

BALTIMORE * In the middle of October, the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens were both 1-5 and seemingly doomed to a losing season.

The Chiefs have since peeled off seven straight victories, rallying behind a stout defense and the unerring play of quarterback Alex Smith to move into playoff contention.

It's an accomplishment the Ravens can truly envy, because they never recovered from their dismal start.

"They're finding ways to win," Baltimore linebacker C.J. Mosley said, "and we didn't."

With a victory over the skidding Ravens (4-9) on Sunday, Kansas City (8-5) will become the first team in NFL history to follow a five-game losing streak with eight successive wins in the same season.

"I think (we're) finally finishing some games, playing four quarters, putting in complete games," Smith said. "That's really kind of been our deal these last seven weeks."

With Smith leading the way, the Chiefs have been averaging 29.1 points per game during their win streak. Smith threw 312 consecutive passes without being intercepted until last week, one reason why Kansas City owns a plus-12 turnover differential second-best in the NFL.

"That's what really propelled their season to 7-0, or seven straight like that," Baltimore cornerback Jimmy Smith said.

The Ravens, in contrast, own a dismal minus-12 turnover differential. Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub and Jimmy Clausen have combined for 17 interceptions, and the Baltimore defense has picked off only four passes in 13 games.

Kansas City found a way to overcome a season-ending injury to star running back Jamaal Charles. The Ravens couldn't compensate for the loss of Flacco (knee), wide receiver Jimmy Smith (Achilles tendon) and running back Justin Forsett (broken arm).

"We've stayed knock on wood relatively healthy," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.

Some things to know about the Chiefs-Ravens matchup:

WEST AND WARE EXCEL

After Charles tore an ACL on Oct. 11, the tandem of Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware took over. West has run for 462 yards, caught 16 passes for 208 yards and scored four touchdowns. Ware has 312 yards rushing and five TDs.

"There's only one Jamaal and we know that," Reid said. …

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