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Ravens Are on the Road to Success

September 22, 1997|From Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Baltimore Ravens are getting used to life on the road.

Vinny Testaverde threw for 318 yards and three touchdowns Sunday as the Ravens, winless on the road last season, defeated the Tennessee Oilers, 36-10, for their second consecutive victory away from home.

"Last year we wanted to win, but we didn't think we could win," wide receiver Derrick Alexander said of the Ravens' first season in Baltimore. "This year, we think that we can win, and we're going out and playing that way.

"What you've got to do in order to be winners is win on the road, and this is a big step for us."

The Ravens (3-1), who travel to San Diego next week, didn't have to worry about overcoming the Oilers' home advantage. Only 17,737 quiet fans showed up at the Liberty Bowl, the Oilers' temporary home until their new stadium is finished in Nashville.

Baltimore got some help from the Oilers (1-2), who turned the ball over five times, including three times by Steve McNair. The Ravens converted those into 19 points.

Testaverde shredded the NFL's worst passing defense by completing 23 of 37 passes, including two touchdown passes to Alexander and one to Jermaine Lewis. The Oilers got only one sack.

The Ravens, who never trailed, turned McNair's fumble on the first possession into a 38-yard field goal by Matt Stover. He added four more field goals of 42, 49, 34 and 36 yards.

The Ravens pressured McNair repeatedly with their young linebackers and shut down the league's best rushing attack.

Eddie George, who rushed for 216 and 106 yards in his first two games, carried 10 times for only 40 yards. He hurt his right ankle in the second quarter and had it retaped, but carried only two more times as the Oilers were forced to play catch-up.

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