Stover expects to foot the bill again


Despite winless mark, 49ers tough on road with 3 losses by 7 total points

Pro Football

November 27, 2003|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,SUN STAFF

In his 122nd game as a Raven, Matt Stover delivered his first game-winning field goal, connecting on a 42-yarder in Sunday's 44-41 overtime victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

But the only place-kicker in franchise history doesn't expect to wait another 7 1/2 seasons to lift the Ravens to victory.

"I'm just thinking there's going to be more. All of a sudden it's going to start flooding," Stover said. "That's my attitude right now. If that comes, I'm going to go out there and do the best I can."

Stover may be right.

The San Francisco 49ers bring an 0-5 road record to M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday, but three of those losses have been by a total of seven points, including two by a field goal in overtime.

There have been few clutch situations recently for Stover, who tied Sunday's game at the end of regulation and won it midway through overtime.

In 1996, he missed wide left on a game-tying, 32-yard field-goal attempt with four seconds left in the fourth quarter against the St. Louis Rams. A year later, he sliced a 23-yarder wide right in overtime against the Philadelphia Eagles.

"In those situations, you try to calm yourself down because you're going to be hyped up," Stover said. "You just go out there and stay in your normal stroke. That's what it comes down to is rhythm and keeping yourself on that so you don't change anything."

Stover, the NFL's third-leading scorer with 95 points, has been a model of consistency, converting his past 15 field goals. During the past two-plus seasons, he has hit 88.8 percent of his tries (88-for-99).

"Matt's always there," coach Brian Billick said. "You just assume the job is done. It's a real comfort zone."

All in the family

Edwin Mulitalo will spend Thanksgiving eating with the enemy.

The Ravens' starting left guard grew up in the San Francisco area and many of his visiting relatives are lifelong 49ers fans.

"My family said they don't know who to cheer for," Mulitalo said. "I told them if they're not going to cheer for me, I'm not going to get them tickets."

Set for career high

It's safe to assume Jamal Lewis will record his single-season high in rushing this year. Eleven games into the season, Lewis has rushed for 1,364 yards, which matches his career-best from 2000.

"I think that's my lucky number," Lewis said. "It's good to be able to pass it. It means I've really stepped up and I've gotten better. That was my plan for the offseason: to do better than I did the last two seasons."

A good week

The week keeps getting better for quarterback Anthony Wright.

Wright recorded his first 300-yard game in leading the Ravens to a come-from-behind win Sunday, then watched the birth of his daughter a day later. Tuesday, Wright was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week.

"It's an honor," said Wright, who was 20 of 37 for 319 yards and four touchdowns. "I've played on three different teams and I've seen plenty of players receive those kind of accolades. It's an honor to actually say that I am the AFC Player of the Week this week."

Time for turkey

Despite a two-hour practice, the Ravens should have their workday wrapped up around 3 p.m. today, in time for the players to enjoy the holiday.

"We've been through this before," Billick said. "Our normal procedure [today] gets us done at an appropriate time. It's not so much the day I'm worried about; it's Friday and all the turkey they are carrying around with them, and the tempo from the coaches and players."

Injury report

Defensive end Tony Weaver (neck) is doubtful and is expected to miss the first start of his 27-game career. Cornerback Corey Fuller (leg) and tight end John Jones (leg) both practiced while cornerback Tom Knight (ankle) worked off to the side.

Sun staff writer Brent Jones contributed to this article.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.