OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — Baltimore is winning and leading the AFC North, coach John Harbaugh just isn’t happy how the Ravens got it done on Sunday.
Ravens’ receivers dropped five passes and couldn’t separate from defenders even though Baltimore escaped Kansas City with a 9-6 victory. Baltimore’s defense allowed the Chiefs to grind out 214 rushing yards, but it was the offense’s inability to establish a rhythm that ultimately irked Harbaugh.
Harbaugh and the Ravens (4-1) host the Dallas Cowboys (2-2) on Sunday.
“To give you how we’re looking at it, no, there are a lot of things we’re not pleased with,” Harbaugh said Monday. “We’re sitting here and looking at it, we don’t want to give up any of those plays. We’re chasing our A-game every week. We want to have our A stuff. It’s like a pitcher, we want to have our best stuff every week. We didn’t have our best stuff.”
The Ravens had a tough time sustaining drives against a stingy Kansas City defense. Baltimore’s offense entered Sunday averaging 424 total yards, but only managed 298 against the Chiefs.
Baltimore only converted three of 11 third-down opportunities, failing to pick up a third-down conversion until the second quarter when a defensive holding call against the Chiefs moved the chains for the Ravens.
Despite the lackluster performance, the Ravens were able to do enough to get a win.
“The ones that count the most are never the prettiest,” linebacker Ray Lewis said. “The ones that count the most are the ones that you have to fight through. Anybody on each side of the ball will tell you that they’ll take a `W’ before anything.”
Harbaugh said there were some positive moments from his ball club, despite two turnovers and a lack of total plays.
The coach was pleased with the Ravens defense holding the Chiefs to a field goal with over four minutes remaining. He also referenced quarterback Joe Flacco’s 16-yard run that gave Baltimore a first down on a third-and-15 deep in its own territory. And then there was Ray Rice’s 2-yard run on a late third-and-1 that helped seal the win.
“There have been plenty of times in the past when we did not convert and needed to convert in a four-minute situation and we had to punt and put the defense back out there,” Harbaugh said. “We were able to do that this week and win the game.”
It’s the second game in a row that Baltimore struggled against a squad with a losing record. Baltimore held on to beat Cleveland 23-16 on Sept. 27. The Browns had a chance to score from the Ravens’ 18-yard line and send the game to overtime.
“They’re not always pretty around here, but there’s one thing we do around here, we do what we have to do to win the football game,” Flacco said. “I’ve been saying that for a long time, whether that’s throwing for 400 yards or having a (bad) day and throwing for 100 yards.
Now it’s time for the Ravens (4-1) to turn their focus to Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys (2-2).
Harbaugh said there is not a projected return date for outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, who partially tore his Achilles tendon in April.
“He’s not going through any football workouts right now,” Harbaugh said. “He hasn’t been through a practice or anything like that yet.”
Suggs is on the physically unable to perform list and is eligible to come off it after the Dallas game. Harbaugh didn’t rule out the possibility that Suggs could be back by the Houston game on Oct. 21.
“His progress between now and then will determine that,” Harbaugh. “We don’t know yet. Once he gets out there and starts practicing, we’ll have an indication.”
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)