Keys to Ravens' victory

January 08, 2001|By Ken Murray

Keys to Ravens' victory

1 They protected the ball better than in the first two games, when they threw five interceptions and fumbled - but didn't lose the ball - 12 times.

2 They contained Derrick Mason, Tennessee's Pro Bowl kick and punt returner, who had 5 yards on two punt returns and 55 on four kickoff returns. Mason never hurt the Ravens in the field position game.

3 They forced quarterback Steve McNair into the only turnover of the game, a clinching, 50-yard interception return for a touchdown by middle linebacker Ray Lewis.

4 They avoided drive-killing false start penalties, committing only one, by tight end Shannon Sharpe.

5 They capitalized on one of their few pass completions, a 56-yard catch-and-run by Sharpe to the Tennessee 1 in the second quarter. Running back Jamal Lewis ran in for a touchdown on the next play.

Keys to Titans' loss

1 The Titans failed to take advantage of their red-zone opportunities. They scored just 10 points out of four possessions inside the Baltimore 20.

2 Their defense couldn't generate any turnovers after getting five in the previous two games against the Ravens.

3 Al Del Greco was abysmal in the kicking game, missing three of four field-goal attempts, with two blocked and one that hit the left upright.

4 They couldn't keep quarterback Trent Dilfer from hurting them in the passing game. Dilfer had completions of 33 yards to Qadry Ismail and 56 to Sharpe.

5 Their special teams were terrible. In addition to Del Greco, Mason never got untracked, and Dainon Sidney had three critical penalties on special teams in the second half.

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