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Ravens Make a Blanket Statement

November 20, 2000|From Associated Press

BALTIMORE — With a 17-0 halftime lead, Baltimore Raven Coach Brian Billick didn't want to his team to settle for simply a victory.

He challenged his players to annihilate the Dallas Cowboys.

"Let's show them how relentless we can be," he said. "That's what champions are made of."

The Ravens finished what they started as Jamal Lewis ran for a career-high 187 yards Sunday and the defense posted its fourth shutout of the season in a 27-0 victory. It was the third consecutive victory for the Ravens, who have an 8-4 record and are one shutout short of matching the NFL season record held by the 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers.

"Now it's in reach," said middle linebacker Ray Lewis, who had a team-high seven tackles. "We can taste it, we can smell it. Why not just go for it?

Emmitt Smith was limited to 48 yards rushing, and Troy Aikman passed for only 138 yards as the Cowboys (4-7) were shut out for the first time in 152 games since Sept. 15, 1991, a 24-0 loss to Philadelphia.

"I think they're an awfully good defense, but I don't think anybody's so good in this league that an offense shouldn't be able to go out and score some kind of points," Aikman said. "That's a reflection of the way we played as well."

The Cowboys had only 192 yards. Aikman threw three interceptions. "For us to win in this dominating fashion says something about us," Billick said. "This is a special group, defensively. That organization stood for excellence for so long."

Jamal Lewis, the Ravens' top pick in the 2000 draft, had 28 carries against the NFL's worst defense against the run, and backup Priest Holmes ran for 64 yards and a touchdown as Baltimore had a team-record 250 yards rushing.

Lewis easily topped his previous high of 116 yards but fell short of Holmes' team mark of 227. Philadelphia's Duce Staley and San Francisco's Charlie Garner each ran for 201 yards against Dallas this season.

The Ravens had success passing too. Trent Dilfer was 18 for 24 for 242 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Shannon Sharpe had five catches for 105 yards and a touchdown.

The Ravens went ahead, 7-0, on their first possession. Lewis gained 29 yards in four carries, and Dilfer completed all three of his passes, with a 40-yard touchdown play to Qadry Ismail, who caught the ball in end zone after it passed through the arms of Dallas cornerback Phillippi Sparks.


Cream of the Crop

Raven rookie Jamal Lewis contributes more to his team's total offense than any other rookie running back:


Player, Team % of offense APG rush APG rec. APG total Jamal Lewis Baltimore 76.9 21.0 28.6 97.9 Mike Anderson Denver 70.5 10.9 81.4 18.9 Ron Dayne NY Giants 53.3 0.9 54.2 15.4 J.R. Redmond NE 36.1 11.4 47.5 15.9 Travis Prentice Cle 32.3 11.7 44.0 16.3 Thomas Jones Ari 25.7 14.8 40.5 13.6 Shawn Alexander Sea 22.3 3.7 26.0 9.1


Research by Roy Jurgens

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