J. Lewis racks up yards, but fumbles, too


Back gains 111, but laments errors' timing, costliness

Redman `to keep fighting'

Rams 33, Ravens 22

November 10, 2003|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

ST. LOUIS - After his first two carries last night against the St. Louis Rams, both of which were more than 20 yards, running back Jamal Lewis looked as though he would have his second "career day" of the season.

Lewis began the game - a 33-22 Rams victory - much like he did in his 295-yard NFL record performance against the Cleveland Browns as he gashed the middle of the Rams defense for 20 and 23 yards on those carries.

But he slowed down and then came to a dead halt late in the quarter after fumbling away the ball deep in Rams' territory. It was the first of two fumbles for Lewis, who saw his once promising night that ended up statistically productive - 111 yards on 27 carries - soiled by the costly mistakes.

"What I'm more concerned about are the crucial times I gave it up," Lewis said. "I was just trying to make something happen and ended up losing focus on what was my main focus: carrying the football. They ended up getting it out of there, and that's what they are known for."

It was a small point proved by the Rams' defenders, some of whom took exception to comments made by Lewis last week.

Lewis had said he was "licking his chops" after seeing the Rams defense struggle against the San Francisco 49ers in a 30-10 loss.

And though Lewis recorded his seventh 100-yard game of the season, his fumble near the end of the first quarter ended a drive inside the red zone.

Lewis had converted a fourth-and-one from the Rams' 11 and seemed to be headed for the ground before Tommy Polley (Dunbar) forced a fumble that was recovered by defensive tackle Brian Young. It was Lewis' last carry of the quarter, one in which he finished with 60 yards on eight attempts.

His second fumble came midway through the fourth quarter with the Ravens down 27-22. Lewis ran up the middle for no gain, but was turned around and had the ball popped out by linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa.

"As a leader on this offense, I can't make turnovers, especially with [starting quarterback] Kyle [Boller] going out and Chris [Redman] stepping in," Lewis said.

Rough day

Redman replaced Boller, who left at halftime with a sprained knee, and continued to struggle.

Redman was 7-for-12 for 58 yards, threw two interceptions and was sacked five times.

"I thought I was [ready]," Redman said. "Obviously, I struggled and turned the ball over too many times. I have to keep fighting and push through it and put it behind me. It was a rough start but you can't find any excuses. You have to keep moving on."

Noise pollution

With a sellout and lively crowd, the Edward Jones Dome noise seemed to make a difference in three plays for the Ravens in the first half.

Most notably, Boller threw a fade pattern to the corner of the end zone to tight end Todd Heap, who ran a slant toward the middle of the field on a third-and-goal from the Rams' 7-yard line.

Right tackle Orlando Brown was penalized for a false start in the first quarter, and left guard Edwin Mulitalo was called for the same thing in the second.

"We definitely knew the crowd was there," Heap said. "This is a place where it is really loud. You have to be mentally ready for it and focused on every play."

Just his job

Despite escaping one of the better pass rushers in the league in Rams end Leonard Little, who missed the game with chest injury, Brown did not think before the game that was an advantage.

Little, who leads the Rams with seven sacks, was replaced by veteran Tyoka Jackson.

"It don't matter to me whoever their pass rusher is," Brown said. "They get paid, I get paid."

Jackson did beat Brown to the inside to land a solid hit on Boller on the Ravens' second possession and later recorded a sack.

Letting QB down

Brown was part of the worst protection day by the Ravens' offensive line, which yielded a season-high seven sacks.

Redman was sacked five times in the second half, but the worst breakdown came under Boller when nobody picked up blitzing safety Adam Archuleta.

Archuleta's presence led Lewis, who was trying to cut the safety off, to knock the ball from Boller's grasp. Archuleta caught it on one hop and raced 45 yards for a touchdown and a 21-12 Rams lead.

"The one thing I liked about it is after that, we came back and hit some throws," Boller said.

Ogden's TD play

The Ravens made tackle Jonathan Ogden an eligible receiver in a new goal-line formation they unveiled last night - and it paid off.

Ogden scored the second touchdown of his career on a 1-yard toss from Boller late in the second quarter.

Ogden looked like an experienced tight end on the play, selling a run-fake to Lewis on a second-and-goal before running a perfect out pattern in the end zone that closed the Rams' lead to 21-19.

His first touchdown came Dec. 1, 1996, in a 31-17 win over Pittsburgh.

Tackle Ethan Brooks and Casey Rabach subbed in for starters Brown and Bennie Anderson, respectively. Brooks took Ogden's position on the scoring play and Brown moved to right tackle.

Taylor's uneven keel

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