Costly turnovers haunt Ravens in 34-14 loss to the Chiefs

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— The Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs both got off to slow starts this season. The two teams have gone in opposite directions after their disappointing starts. Kansas City now has an eight-game winning streak after beating the Ravens by a score of 34 – 14.

Coming into this game, the Chiefs were +12 in the turnover column. That’s the exact opposite of the Ravens; they were -12 before kickoff. Kansas City caused three turnovers against the Ravens and scored 14 points as a result.

A disappointed John Harbaugh correctly diagnosed the problem for the Ravens after the game.

“For us, the story of the game, basically, is turnovers for touchdowns,” Harbaugh said. “That’s the number one thing. They made two big plays on defense.”

The first big play came when Buck Allen was stripped as he fought for more yards after contact. The ball fell into Chiefs safety Tyvon Branches hands and he took it back for a 73-yard touchdown. Fumbling the football is an easy way to fall out of favor with Harbaugh.

Harbaugh benched Allen for the rest of the game. He doesn’t tolerate fumbling the football.

“You have to hold onto the football. That football belongs to everybody in the organization, every fan, everybody that cares about the Ravens, and it’s a precious commodity,” Harbaugh said. “You don’t win football games when you turn the ball over. If any team this year should understand that, it’s the Baltimore Ravens.”

Marcus Peters had two interceptions against the Ravens and now has seven interceptions on the season. The Ravens as a team have four interceptions. The Chiefs have 20 interceptions this season.

The Ravens have still played physical football and they’re still a tough team. They play good football for stretches but is has been turnovers that have haunted them all season.

Turnovers have been an issue that has led the Ravens to fall behind in a number of games. Falling behind has affected play calling to an extent. Marc Trestman has never been one to call an abundance of running plays, but he has been even less likely to go to the rushing game when the team is behind.

Not running the football has been a thorn in the side of Ravens all-pro right guard Marshall Yanda. He has lobbied for the Ravens to run the ball more. It just hasn’t happened.

“The turnovers were a big thing. Then we get down by a bunch in the second half, and they chewed up a bunch of the clock,” Yanda said. “We went into the two-minute mode, and you just don’t run the ball enough. We were trying to score and get it within one possession.”

Jimmy Clausen was playing pretty well before the two interceptions came. Peters got the first one when Daniel Brown fell while making a break at the top of his route. The second one came as the result of an overthrown pass.

The quarterback is trying to hold on and be the Ravens starting quarterback for the last two games of the season. He is in effect auditioning for the backup job next season. He knows he can’t expect good results when he puts the ball in harm’s way.

“The biggest thing is just taking care of the ball whether it’s the fumble or the two interceptions that I had,” Clausen said. “You’re not going to win games turning the ball over. That’s just a factor.”