KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Steve McNair hooked up with Mark Clayton for an 87-yard score and Ed Reed had two interceptions Sunday, leading the Ravens to a 20-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Baltimore (10-3) maintained its two-game division lead over Cincinnati, which beat Oakland 27-10.

Ravens coach Brian Billick raised some eyebrows when he gave his players five days off – almost a second bye week – after their 13-7 loss at Cincinnati on Nov. 30. Their fresh legs showed Sunday, though, as Baltimore looked a step faster on both sides of the ball.

The Ravens forced three turnovers and sacked Trent Green four times. Green also lost a fumble after being sacked and stripped of the ball by Terrell Suggs.

The TD throw, which was McNair’s longest career pass and Clayton’s longest career reception, put the Ravens up 13-0 with just under 61/2 minutes left in the third quarter.

Clayton had to pull up slightly to catch the pass, but was still 4 yards past cornerback Ty Law when he hauled the ball in at Kansas City’s 45. Nobody even got close to him as he sprinted down the center of the field to the end zone.

Kansas City (7-6), which lost only its second December home game since 1995, answered Clayton’s catch with Lawrence Tynes’ field goal and trailed 13-3 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Chiefs failed to convert a turnover on Baltimore’s next possession, though, and Jamal Lewis’ 1-yard scoring run with just under 3 minutes to go sealed the Ravens’ victory.

Green threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Dante Hall with 1:20 to go, but by then it was too late.

The Chiefs’ last previous home loss in December was 24-19 to Indianapolis on Dec. 15, 1996. Their 18-game home winning streak in December was the longest since the AFL-NFL merger.

The Chiefs caught a break when Greg Wesley forced a fumble after McNair’s 9-yard pass to Ovie Mughelli early in the fourth quarter and Patrick Surtain returned the ball to the Ravens’ 43. Kansas City managed only Larry Johnson’s 4-yard carry and two incompletions, though, and had to punt.

Lewis’ TD capped a 16-play, 86-yard drive that took 9 minutes, 13 seconds. The possession was close to going three-and-out, but McNair hit Demetrius Williams for a 33-yard gain on third-and-6 from the Ravens’ 18.

After throwing for four TDs in last week’s 31-28 overtime loss at Cleveland, Green was 15-for-27 for 178 yards Sunday.

Johnson ran for 120 yards for the Chiefs – but take away his 47-yard gain in the second quarter, and his other 22 carries netted only 73 yards.

Suggs was flagged for unnecessary roughness for hitting Johnson out of bounds after his long gain, giving Kansas City a first down at Baltimore’s 27. But three plays later, Green threw high and over the middle and Reed made a diving interception at his own 6.

Matt Stover hit field goals of 41 yards late in the first quarter and 23 yards early in the second to put the Ravens up 6-0. The first was Stover’s 400th career field goal, and the second was set up by Reed’s interception and 11-yard return of Green’s tipped pass.

Tynes hooked a 32-yard attempt wide left on Kansas City’s opening drive.

AP-ES-12-10-06 1649EST


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