Boulware blind-side shot vision of beauty Linebacker-turned-blocker excels on Lewis INT

Ravens notebook

Atkins opens eyes, holes in 1st start

Ravens 20, Bengals 13

November 23, 1998|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF Sun staff writers Vito Stellino and Mike Preston contributed to this article.

CINCINNATI -- Ravens outside linebacker Peter Boulware has seen much frustration during his second season. Primarily, he is dissatisfied with his sack total of 6 1/2 , which still ranks second on the team behind end Michael McCrary.

Boulware exacted a priceless bit of satisfaction from the Cincinnati Bengals yesterday, and he did it in a rare role -- as a blocker.

In a play that had television highlight material written all over it, Boulware crushed Cincinnati offensive tackle Rod Jones after middle linebacker Ray Lewis's second interception of the game.

With the Ravens clinging to a 17-13 lead in the final seconds of the third quarter and the Bengals at their 22 on third-and-12, quarterback Paul Justin tried to hit receiver Damon Gibson on a slant-in. Lewis cut in front of Gibson for the interception at the 35.

"I really read [Justin]," Lewis said. "I was supposed to be weak side, but I saw the receiver breaking in, so I broke on the ball, made a good read on it and got the interception."

As Lewis headed down the right sideline, Jones pursued him, and Jones never saw Boulware coming. Boulware's blind-side block sent Jones flying in one direction and his helmet in another. Jones staggered as he picked up his helmet, before walking slowly back to the Cincinnati bench.

"Those guys were pounding on me all day, taking shots at me, double-teaming me. It was my time," Boulware said. "I saw No. 60 [Jones] with his head turned. All I saw was his ear hole, and I just tried to run right through him.

"[Jones] hollered a little bit, like he didn't know what had happened to him. He didn't know where he was for a little while. You get one of those [chances] about once every two years."

Atkins bursts out of blocks

In his first start as a Raven, left guard James Atkins made his 6-foot-6, 306-pound presence felt at Cinergy Field.

Atkins threw the block that sprang Priest Holmes on a 56-yard run, setting up the game's first touchdown, a 12-yard scoring pass from quarterback Jim Harbaugh to fullback Roosevelt Potts.

Late in the first half, Atkins helped Holmes break off a 38-yard run to the Cincinnati 3. On fourth-and-goal, Holmes leaped in to give the Ravens a 17-3 halftime lead.

It took Atkins a little time to warm up. He started the Ravens' second possession by committing a false-start penalty. That mistake preceded his first big block for Holmes by two plays.

"It felt good to get out there, to shake off the rust and get out all the mistakes, like it was a preseason game," Atkins said. "I think I played all right."

In an odd twist to his day, Atkins also caught his first career pass. The catch came when a Cincinnati defensive lineman deflected a Harbaugh pass early in the second quarter.

Embattled Jackson hurts foot

It was not a good weekend for Ravens wide receiver Michael Jackson.

By Saturday, Jackson had learned he was the target of criminal charges alleging sexual abuse. A 44-year-old Highlandtown woman filed 11 charges against Jackson.

Jackson has been ordered to appear in District Court on Dec. 30 to respond to the charges.

Yesterday, Jackson's day ended early in the second quarter. Two plays after he jumped offside to put the Ravens in a first-and-15 predicament at the Cincinnati 35, Jackson erased his mistake by combining with Harbaugh on an 18-yard completion that was good for a first down.

But Jackson sprained his foot on the play and left the game soon after that. He was taken to the locker room for X-rays that were negative. He is questionable for next week's game.

Jackson was unavailable to comment after the game.

Jackson's attorney, Arnold Weiner, said, "These allegations are utterly without basis."

Line backs up Ogden's words

Offensive lineman Jonathan Ogden had a message for coach Ted Marchibroda last Monday after the team gave the ball to the running backs only 10 times against San Diego.

The message was the Ravens have to run the ball more.

"I said 40 passes and 10 runs isn't very productive when you're in a close game. It just wasn't working for us. We felt like it wasn't conducive to winning."

The Ravens responded by giving Holmes 36 carries for 227 yards against Cincinnati.

Marchibroda said, "I thought for the first time I was glad to see him come up [for the meeting]. It gave a little accountability. I was glad to see those guys put themselves on the spot."

The other linemen were happy to see Ogden speak up.

"It's very hard to develop a running game when you don't run it," Wally Williams said. "You have to give your running backs the feel of the blocking schemes. We've definitely been real vocal about how much we wanted to run the ball."

Cotton disputes goal-line call

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