J. Lewis racks up yards to back up words


Running back's comments irk Rams but he outshines Faulk despite two fumbles

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

ST. LOUIS - After his first two carries, both of which were for more than 20 yards, Ravens running back Jamal Lewis looked as though he would have his second "career day" this season.

The game for Lewis began similarly to that of 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.

Lewis, though, slowed down and then came to halt late in the quarter by fumbling the ball deep in Rams territory.

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

He rebounded for a 9-yard rush on the first carry of the second quarter and finished the half 9 yards shy of his seventh 100-yard game of the season.

Lewis riled some of the Rams' defenders earlier last week by saying he was "licking his chops" after seeing the Rams struggle against the San Francisco 49ers in a 30-10 loss.

Still, Lewis - despite another fumble in the second half - again showed up one of the league's best backs in St. Louis' Marshall Faulk.

Faulk had two touchdowns but finished with just 10 yards in the first half. Faulk finished the game with 48 yards rushing on 20 carries, a 2.4 average.

Lewis carried 27 times for 111 yards, one touchdown and a 4.1 average.

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, quarterback Kyle 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 with a false start in the first quarter, and left guard Edwin Mulitalo had the same thing happen to him in the second.

St. Louis expert

Having lived in St. Louis most of his life, Ravens right guard Bennie Anderson has authority to speak on who holds top billing in the city.

Anderson was an all-district lineman in high school and was originally signed by the Rams before the 2000 season. He was cut before training camp.

"It's a baseball town," Anderson said. "When the Rams are winning, it's a Rams town, but all and all, it's a baseball town. Cardinals all the way."

Doing his job

Despite circumventing one of the best pass rushers in the league in Rams end Leonard Little, who missed the game because of chest injury, Brown did not see that as an advantage heading into the game.

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

"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.

Roller-coaster game

Mirroring his career with the Ravens, it was an up-and-down first half for receiver Travis Taylor.

Taylor let slip through his hands what would have been a third-down conversion in Rams territory on the Ravens' opening possession. The ball bounced off Taylor's hands and straight to cornerback Jerametrius Butler at the 19-yard line. Butler returned the ball 36 yards, which helped set up the Rams' first touchdown.

He had another chance to convert a second-and-18 on the Ravens' fourth possession but could not haul in the pass. The team settled for a 41-yard Matt Stover field goal.

Taylor, though, rebounded to break through three tackles and turn a 10-yard pass into a 40-yard gain in the second quarter, setting up the Ravens' first touchdown. He later had a 24-yard reception.

Ogden's new role

The Ravens unveiled a new goal-line formation and made tackle Jonathan Ogden an eligible receiver, 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 for starters Orlando Brown and Anderson, respectively, early in the second quarter. Brooks took Ogden's position on the touchdown play and Brown played right tackle.

End zone

Anthony Wright, Corey Fuller, Ovie Mughelli, Aubrayo Franklin, Damion Cook, Ron Johnson, Dedric Ward and Riddick Parker were the Ravens' inactive players. The Rams were without starting defensive tackle Damione Lewis. ... The Ravens' Tony Weaver and Peter Boulware each recorded sacks for the second straight game.

Next for Ravens

Matchup:Miami Dolphins (5-4) vs. Ravens (5-4)

Site:Pro Player Stadium, Miami

When:Sunday, 1 p.m.

TV/Radio:Ch. 13/WJFK (1300 AM), WQSR (102.7 FM)

Line:Off the board

Series:Dolphins lead 3-1

Last meeting:Dolphins won, 26-7, on Nov. 17, 2002, in Miami.

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