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Baltimore Ravens oust Kansas City Chiefs, 30-7

Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain tackles former Largo High star Dexter McCluster, who led the Chiefs with four catches.

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Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain tackles former Largo High star Dexter McCluster, who led the Chiefs with four catches.

Longest skids

The Chiefs set the league record Sunday with their seventh straight playoff loss. The longest postseason losing streaks, with beginning and ending seasons:

Chiefs 1993-present 7

Browns 1969-86 6

Cowboys 1996-2009 6

Giants 1939-56 6

Lions 1991-present 6

Seahawks 1984-2005 6

Vikings 1988-96 6

Broncos 1977-84 5

Colts 1971-95 5

Colts 1995-2003 5

Eagles 1980-92 5

Giants 1958-81 5

Rams 1952-74 5

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Ray Lewis knows a championship defense when he sees one. Now the Chiefs do, too.

Lewis and Baltimore's tough and savvy defense overwhelmed the young Chiefs on Sunday, sacking Matt Cassel three times and forcing five turnovers in a 30-7 victory in the opening round of the playoffs.

The Chiefs (10-7), who won the AFC West with a six-game improvement and took pride in not beating themselves, managed 25 yards in the second half.

"To set records is one thing," said Lewis, who forced a fumble and had a sack in the second-half dismantling. "To come out and play the way we've played in the third quarter all year and the last two weeks, just giving up seven points to opponents, that's championship-caliber football."

Baltimore (13-4) broke open a close game with a touchdown and two field goals off turnovers in the second half. Joe Flacco threw two touchdowns and Billy Cundiff had three field goals for the Ravens offense, which had several long drives and dominated time of possession (41:44).

The Ravens head to Pittsburgh on Saturday, renewing one of the league's fiercest rivalries. During the regular season, each team won on the other's home field.

"It seems like it's poetic justice," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "I'm sure (the Steelers will) bring their 'A' game and we'll try to bring our 'A' game and we'll see what happens. We respect them and we know what kind of game it's going to be. But we do enjoy playing them."

Kansas City finished with a record seventh straight playoff loss, dating back 17 years.

On a windy afternoon with temperatures in the low 20s, Flacco and Cundiff took advantage of three interceptions by Cassel and fumbles by Dexter McCluster and Jamaal Charles.

In an emotional postgame, the Ravens gave the game ball to Reed, whose brother is missing (see AFC notebook). The Ravens also had heartache last week, when the sister of linebackers coach Dean Pees died.

The Ravens led 10-7 in the third quarter when Kansas City lost a fourth-and-inches gamble and then collapsed, quickly.

"We turned the ball over and that's not characteristic of us," Chiefs Pro Bowl guard Brian Waters said. "When we had to make plays, we weren't able to."

After leading the league with 15 touchdown receptions, Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe was not thrown to. Bowe did not talk after the game, but McCluster, a rookie who had a team-high four catches, said Bowe was frustrated: "He wants the ball. He wants to compete.''

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Baltimore Ravens oust Kansas City Chiefs, 30-7 01/09/11 [Last modified: Sunday, January 9, 2011 9:27pm]
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