Change For Better

Ravens' offense responds in big way to Billick's play-calling

Ravens 35 Saints 22

October 30, 2006|By JAMISON HENSLEY

How the game was won

In coach Brian Billick's first game as the Ravens' play-caller, the team showed new energy on offense along with an unpredictability in its game plan. The Ravens' offense broke open the game early with three touchdowns. Steve McNair had a season-high passer rating (121.5) and Jamal Lewis gained a season-best 109 yards rushing.

Key play

After New Orleans' touchdown in the first half cut the lead to 21-7, the Ravens answered with an odd 6-yard touchdown pass to Todd Heap. McNair's pass was tipped by Jason Craft and went through the hands of Scott Fujita before reaching Heap.

Rookie returns

Not to be outdone by their resurgent offense, the Ravens' defense delivered two touchdowns from a couple of first-year players. Nickel back Ronnie Prude, who was replacing injured Gerome Sapp, ran back an interception 12 yards for a touchdown in the first half, and strong safety Dawan Landry, who had been slowed by a sprained right knee, also returned an interception 12 yards for a score in the second half.

They said it

"I felt like if I don't know what's going on, I know they [the Saints] can't."

-- running back Jamal Lewis, on Billick's unpredictable game plan.

Disappearing act

The Ravens' fast pursuit on defense completely took New Orleans first-round pick Reggie Bush out of the game. He finished with 21 yards of total offense (16 yards rushing and 5 receiving) and two turnovers before the Ravens knocked him out of the game in the fourth quarter.

Coming attraction

The Ravens head into a pivotal divisional game against the Cincinnati Bengals (4-3), who trail the first-place Ravens (5-2) by a game in the AFC North. The Ravens haven't beaten the Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium since 2003.

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