Hall's kickoff return with 5:08 left broke a tie and kept the
Kansas City Chiefs unbeaten with a 17-10 victory Sunday.
Hall became the first player in NFL history to return a kick for
a touchdown in three straight games. He took a kickoff 100 yards
against Pittsburgh two weeks ago and returned a punt 73 yards
against Houston last week before completing the trifecta against
The 5-foot-8 speedster did very little against the Ravens until
his final foray upfield -- after Baltimore's Adalius Thomas was
called offside on the preceding kickoff.
"We made an adjustment on the direction we were going to run,"
Hall took the second kickoff from Wade Richey all the way,
encountering few would-be tacklers during his record-setting jaunt.
Question on the Chiefs: How can teams justify keep kicking to Hall?
Teams have to play their game and not worry about who's on the other side of the field. I can assure you, the Ravens spent extra time on their special teams coverage this past week. Right now, what Hall is doing is unbelievable. He's a dangerous weapon and reminds me of former Brown Eric Metcalf. Both have the ability to turn a small return into a big one.
Question on the Ravens: After a three-pick day by Kyle Boller, does Billick consider benching him?
It has to cross Billick's mind right now. Boller has the abilities to one day be a very good NFL quarterback, but right now he's hurting his team with his mistakes. The only reason why this will be a difficult decision for Coach Billick is because Boller's backup doesn't look to be an improvement. The Ravens may look back on their decision not to trade for veteran quarterback Mark Brunell wistfully.
Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.
"He finally gave us a ball to work with and we made him pay,"
Hall said. "The blocking was unbelievable. I started right, cut
left, and my eyes got so big when I saw that hole. I'm getting
bubbleguts again just thinking about it."
Ravens coach Brian Billick said, "We contained him very, very
well, right up until the end. That's the dangerous thing about a
great player like that."
Led by running back Priest Holmes, Kansas City (4-0) came in
averaging an NFL-best 37 points per game. Holmes was held to 90
yards rushing on 22 attempts and the Chiefs' offense produced only
10 points, but on this day Holmes & Co. received plenty of help.
"This is a very disappointing loss," Billick said. "Clearly
we cannot make the mistakes that we made at critical times."
Baltimore's bid to rally was slowed when Ed Reed fumbled a punt
with 2:21 remaining. The Ravens (2-2) got the ball back, but Dexter
McCleon's second interception, with 29 seconds to go, capped an
excellent performance by the Chiefs' surprisingly potent defense.
"When they make such a big hype over two good running backs
going at one another, special teams and defense usually wins the
game," Hall said.
Boller was 15-for-26 for 140 yards and was sacked three times.
"It's hard, very frustrating," Boller said. "There are a
couple balls I'd like back. I'll make sure I don't try to force
them in there next time; I've got to use this is a learning
The game was billed as a showdown between Holmes, who started
his career in Baltimore, and Lewis, who ran for an NFL-record 295
yards two weeks earlier. Holmes finished with fewer total yards
than Lewis (159-103), but he got a victory to savor.
So did Dick Vermeil, who now has 100 wins as an NFL coach.
"We knew it wouldn't be easy," Vermeil said. "We had to rely
on our defense and special teams, and they did a great job."
Held to five first downs in the first half, the Ravens opened
the third quarter with a 67-yard drive that produced a field goal
by Matt Stover and a 3-3 tie. The kick came after a 1-yard
touchdown run by Lewis was nullified by a holding call.
Kansas City responded with a 71-yard march that blended the
talent of Holmes and quarterback Trent Green with some well-timed
trickery. After a reverse by receiver Johnnie Morton gained 36
yards, the Chiefs moved to the 1 before Green faked a handoff to
Holmes and hit a wide-open Tony Gonzalez for a 10-3 lead.
The Ravens got into position to tie it early in the fourth
quarter, moving from their 21 to the KC 23 before Boller was picked
off in the end zone by McCleon.
Neither Lewis, Holmes or anyone else reached the end zone during
a first half that ended with the Chiefs up 3-0.
The Ravens' opening possession ended with Boller throwing long
into double coverage and being intercepted by Greg Wesley at the
Kansas City 7.
Then, after Thomas tipped a punt, the Ravens took over at the
Chiefs' 28. But on fourth-and-1 from the 8, Lewis fell down on a
sweep and lost a yard.
Kansas City punted on each of its first four possessions before
Morten Andersen kicked a 46-yard field goal to conclude a 10-play
drive with 3:23 left in the second quarter.
Ravens DE Terrell Suggs tied an NFL record by getting a
sack in each of his first four games, a feat accomplished
previously by Santana Dotson of Tampa Bay in 1992. ... KC DE Vonnie
Holliday strained a groin, but the injury is not believed to be