Wright says scoring surge is no passing phase

2 straight 40-point games a franchise record

`we're trying to send a message'

Ravens 44, 49ers 6

Nfl Week 13

December 01, 2003|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,SUN STAFF

With the game no longer in doubt and an apparent disregard for how such a move might be perceived, the Ravens chose to go deep late in yesterday's 44-6 win over the San Francisco 49ers at M&T Bank Stadium.

Anthony Wright's 33-yard pass to Marcus Robinson down the sideline was complete, but the call, which came with 3:27 left and the Ravens up 31 points, could be construed as an attempt to run up the score.

Whatever the case, it worked, as the Ravens eventually scored on a 2-yard run by Musa Smith, a play that gave the team its first back-to-back 40-plus scoring outputs in franchise history.

"We're trying to send a message," said Wright, who was 14-for-25 for 177 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. "And the message is we are for real. We've come to play. No more `look at the struggling Baltimore Ravens offense.' We are an offense that can make plays and make things happen."

Perhaps also, the Ravens are trying to climb out of the cellar as the league's worst passing offense (141.5 yards heading into the game). Or maybe, as coach Brian Billick indicated, the team was simply taking what the defense was giving.

"I realize the game was a certain way, and it wasn't out of any disrespect," Billick said. "But if you put eight, nine in the box, you have a check that says if there are nine guys here, you throw out there. It was good to see the connections."

Robinson's perspective? "They called the play, and I was just like `Wow, we're going deep,'" he said. "My guy was press [tight, one-on-one coverage], and I was just trying to beat him."

Asked if he felt the Ravens were trying to use him to send a message to the rest of the league, Robinson said, "I don't know what the message was. He called the play, and I just ran it."

And it's no surprise the team turned to Robinson.

Robinson recorded his fifth touchdown in the past two games with 46 seconds remaining in the first half.

On a first-and-10 from the 49ers' 38, Robinson adjusted nicely to a slightly off throw by Wright, cutting in front of the safety at the 23, keeping his feet, and racing down the middle of the field to the end zone and a 17-6 Ravens lead.

"When I broke in, the safety was just standing there waiting on the ball," Robinson said. "I just crossed his face, caught the ball, turned upfield and tried to get to the end zone."

Robinson's plays were the longest of the afternoon for Wright, who relied more on game management than deep balls for his second victory as Ravens quarterback.

Six of Wright's 14 completions were for 10 yards or more, with only the two to Robinson longer than 15 yards. But he did a better job of getting rid of the ball, as San Francisco, second in the league in sacks heading into the game, recorded just one.

"Every game is not going to be like last week's game," Wright said. "I understand that, coaches understand that. The point is, do what you have to do to win games. And I felt that's what we did as an offense. The offensive line did exceptionally well, and our backs did well."

The defense and special teams, though, did better, setting up the offense with turnovers and good field position on six of the seven scoring drives.

The Ravens' touchdown drives were 30, 49, 21 and 52 yards (Ray Lewis also had an interception returned for a touchdown). Two of those drives were set up by interceptions.

It led to a productive day but some misleading statistics for a team that managed 282 total yards (21 yards below its average) but still put together the most lopsided win in franchise history.

"I was like, `When did we score 44 points?' That's how the game goes sometimes," Robinson said. "It's not always flashy, but that lets you know it was total -- offense, defense and special teams."

Whether the 44 points come on 426 total yards like they did last week or in the manner they came yesterday, Wright will take it.

"Our mentality was to come out and prove that last week wasn't a fluke," Wright said. "I think offensively, we were very focused. We still made a few mistakes out there that we have to get corrected."

Ravens routs

Yesterday's 38-point margin of victory was the largest in Ravens regular-season history:

Date...Opp. ...Score...Mrg.

11-30-03... San Fran. ...44-6...38

11-26-00...Cleveland... 44-7...37

9-24-00...Cincinnati... 37-0...37

11-7-99...Cleveland... 41-9...32

11-19-00...Dallas... 27-0...27

12-5-99...Tennessee... 41-14...27

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