Remembering Lewis' record rushing day

RAVENS CENTRAL

The Kickoff

October 29, 2007|By JAMISON HENSLEY

On Sept. 14, 2003, in the greatest feat over the 10 seasons at the Ravens' stadium, Jamal Lewis hammered his way to 295 rushing yards in a 33-13 victory over the Cleveland Browns, breaking the NFL mark, held by the Cincinnati Bengals' Corey Dillon, by 17 yards.

Lewis had predicted the feat three days earlier in a phone call with Cleveland linebacker Andra Davis, saying he would break the record if he was given 30 carries.

"It was like Babe Ruth pointing to the fence before the home run," Ravens coach Brian Billick said.

Lewis was a picture of grace and power, bouncing off linebackers and sidestepping defensive backs while carrying 30 times and scoring two touchdowns. Two years removed from reconstructive knee surgery, he stiff-armed would-be tacklers one moment and outsprinted them the next to even the Ravens' record at 1-1.

He delivered big plays by ripping through the middle of the defense, gaining 234 yards on five carries - 82, 23, 48, 63 and 18 yards.

On his first attempt, Lewis collected himself after nearly falling just past the line of scrimmage and bolted a team-record 82 yards for a touchdown. He had 105 yards after his second carry and 180 yards at halftime, when he first realized the record was within reach.

"We put it on his shoulders all week," Billick said.

jamison.hensley@baltsun.com

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