J. Lewis And Taylor


Complementary ticket

Ravens Gameday

Ravens 16, Browns 3


It was a different kind of 1-2 punch for Jamal Lewis and Chester Taylor.

Instead of rotating, Lewis and Taylor teamed in the backfield, with Lewis serving as the fullback for three plays after Ovie Mughelli sprained his ankle in the second quarter of the Ravens' 16-3 win over the Cleveland Browns yesterday.

In his first action as a fullback, Lewis helped Taylor run for 4 yards, a play that was changed at the line of scrimmage by quarterback Anthony Wright.

"It wasn't really made for me to get the ball when he was in there," Taylor said. "He was supposed to get it. But they came with a different defense and Wright just killed [the play]. It worked out like that. We didn't do that in practice."

Lewis may have showcased his versatility, but Taylor had the bigger day, rushing for 92 yards on eight carries. Taylor's 52-yard run - the longest of his career - to end the first quarter helped set up a field goal by Matt Stover that put the Ravens up 13-0.

"I saw my man turn out, so I just turned behind him and took it," Taylor said.

Usually, it is Lewis busting the big runs against the Browns, but he was held to 59 yards on 24 carries, a 2.5-yard average. Lewis had averaged 147.6 yards in his eight previous games against Cleveland, but he has been held under 100 the past three meetings.

"I have a big target on my chest out there," Lewis said. "We practice against the 3-4 defense all week and they come out and run a 6-2 or a goal-line type defense. It kind of threw us off a little bit."



Browns coach Romeo Crennel said he thought about challenging whether tight end Todd Heap had crossed the goal line on a third-down pass from quarterback Anthony Wright that gave the Ravens a 7-0 first-quarter lead. If the score had been disallowed, the Ravens would have had to decide whether to kick a field goal on fourth down with less than a yard to go.

Heap caught the 3-yard toss, was met instantly by Browns cornerback Daylon McCutcheon and tossed back. Officials called it a touchdown. The TV replays weren't clear.

"Daylon, who was covering on the play, thought that the ball was out," Crennel said. "But my guys in the booth, they said that they thought that [Heap] had caught the ball. You know in the NFL if the guy has possession for a second in the end zone, they give him a touchdown. So I didn't want to use a timeout at that time."


The Ravens behaved themselves in this game, but they couldn't say the same about the home crowd.

Umpire Butch Hannah got caught in the middle of a Chester Taylor run and went hard to the ground midway through the fourth quarter, which set off a loud cheer by fans. Hannah, who was carted off the field, suffered a knee sprain and will be sidelined three to four weeks.

"The sad thing is you never cheer when someone gets hurt," linebacker Adalius Thomas said. "You talk about having class. People call us out and it's the same thing for everybody else. You have a referee laying on the ground and people cheering. ... There's no room for it in the game."


Ravens return specialist B.J. Sams had a break-out day, returning his first punt 51 yards to set up a field goal. He also had a 23-yard return.

"It wasn't just good for me, but good for the offense because field position, that leads to points," Sams said.

Sams' previous long return this season was 28 yards against the Indianapolis Colts. His 10.5-yard average heading into the game was third in the NFL.

"It was frustrating just being one tackle away from a big return, and everybody saying, `You almost got it,' " Sams said. "Now, I'm just reading my blocks more, and it's all going to come together."


Ravens coach Brian Billick issued a 30-second statement to the media after the game, then bolted without taking questions. It was the second time in his seven seasons Billick did not answer questions after a game.

"I'm excited about the way this team responded and proud of the way they handled the pressure all week long; the attitude they brought into the stadium, as well," Billick said. "They responded just the way you wanted them to. It's a hard-fought game, always hard-fought in the NFL. The players recognized that. Our focus now is the Chicago Bears, plain and simple.

"Everything else will take care of itself as we move along, so we'll address it as we need to. This is a day for the players, so I'll let you talk to the players."


Mark Clayton and Ed Reed suffered ankle injuries that forced them out of the game.

Clayton was injured in the first quarter, but came back in the second and took a direct snap 15 yards for a touchdown. The play was nullified because of holding by Darnell Dinkins, and Clayton didn't return after undergoing further X-rays.

"I couldn't run routes," said Clayton, who had a similar injury that kept him out one game in college at Oklahoma. "I could run straight, though; that was fine."

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