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O, BY THE WAY

Last Word

December 03, 2007|By BILL ORDINE

Monday Night Football has been a mixed bag for Baltimore fans, with the Ravens just 4-5 all time, including 0-2 this season. Actually, it took six seasons and a Super Bowl championship for the Ravens to crack the Monday lineup, and, out of the chute, they went on a roll, winning their first three. Here's a look at the top five Ravens MNF appearances:

1. RAVENS 16, TITANS 10 at Tennessee, Nov. 12, 2001

The first Monday night Ravens showcase came down to a last-second goal-line stand where they stuffed then-Titans quarterback Steve McNair on a sneak from inside the 1-yard line. Actually, McNair had appeared to score on the previous snap on a plunge, but a pre-snap penalty on the Ravens' Peter Boulware negated the play and edged the ball closer to the end zone. On the deciding play with three seconds left, Ravens defensive lineman Sam Adams plugged the middle, and as McNair tried the right side, he was gang-tackled a half-yard short. 2. RAVENS 34, BRONCOS 23 at Baltimore, Sept. 30, 2002

The Ravens were underdogs in this one, but it was a night when Ray Lewis had one of his most dominating performances ever and Chris McAlister set a then-NFL record for the league's longest play. Near the end of the first half, McAlister fielded a missed field goal 7 yards into the end zone and, encouraged by Lewis, who threw a crushing block, raced 107 yards. Lewis terrorized the Broncos with 18 tackles, an interception and two more passes broken up. The Ravens had a 31-3 lead at one point. 3. RAVENS 48, PACKERS 3 at Baltimore, Dec. 19, 2005

In what has been an up-and-down career for quarterback Kyle Boller, he had perhaps his best game against struggling Green Bay on a frigid night at M&T Bank Stadium. Boller was 19-for-27 for 253 yards and three touchdowns. Tight end Todd Heap had nine receptions for 110 yards, and Jamal Lewis ran for 105 yards. At the time, it was thought that the game might be one of the last for Packers quarterback Brett Favre, who played poorly and left in the third quarter. Obviously, that was premature concern. 4. RAVENS 19, VIKINGS 3 at Baltimore, Jan. 7, 2002

The Ravens' second MNF appearance resembled so many other games of the Brian Billick era. Baltimore's defense smothered Minnesota, and kicker Matt Stover provided most of the offense with four field goals. The victory in the final game of the regular season enabled the 10-6 Ravens to make the playoffs as a wild card. 5. STEELERS 20, RAVENS 19 at Pittsburgh, Oct. 31, 2005

The Ravens were struggling through a season when they were riddled by injuries. When they took Heinz Field against the eventual Super Bowl champions, they were without Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Despite that, they actually outplayed the Steelers for most of the night and had a lead late in the game on a field goal by Matt Stover. But Steelers kicker Jeff Reed made a 37-yarder with 1:36 left to spoil the effort. BONUS: CHIEFS 44, BALTIMORE COLTS 24 at Baltimore, Sept. 28, 1970

The second-ever MNF game was a match between defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City and a Colts team that would go on to win that season's Super Bowl over Dallas. On this night, though, the Chiefs' Len Dawson threw four touchdown passes and John Unitas had to be relieved by Earl Morrall. Colts wide receiver Eddie Hinton caught 11 passes for 190 yards.

bill.ordine@baltsun.com

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