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No Shutout, but Domination for the Ravens

November 27, 2000|From Associated Press

BALTIMORE — On an afternoon in which they set several team records and clinched their first winning season, the Baltimore Ravens had only one lament.

Fooled by the Cleveland Browns early in Sunday's game, the Ravens failed to get the record-tying shutout they coveted.

Rookie Jamal Lewis ran for 170 yards and two touchdowns, and Trent Dilfer threw for two scores as the Ravens built a 24-point halftime lead en route to a 44-7 victory.

Baltimore (9-4) held Cleveland (3-10) to three first downs in the decisive first half, and the 44 points were the team's most in a game since the franchise moved from Cleveland in 1996.

The Ravens, whose fourth consecutive victory ties a Baltimore record, hadn't won more than eight games in a season.

"I hope we're not satisfied," safety Rod Woodson said. "But we're heading in the right direction."

Baltimore's attempt to tie the 1976 Pittsburgh Steelers' modern-era record of five shutouts in a season was spoiled on the Browns' initial drive.

Cleveland surprised the Ravens by coming out with a spread formation and a no-huddle attack. Doug Pederson began the drive with a seven-yard completion to Kevin Johnson, then immediately threw over the middle to Johnson for a 67-yard gain, the longest play against Baltimore this season.

Another completion moved it to the four-yard line, where Travis Prentice capped the drive with a touchdown run for a 7-0 lead.

"That long pass was just missed tackles. After that, everything was back to normal," said middle linebacker Ray Lewis, who had two of the Ravens' six sacks.

The Browns covered 86 yards on that drive and gained 26 yards thereafter. Cleveland finished with five first downs and 28 yards rushing in 17 attempts.

"I don't think we quit; I think we got beat up," Cleveland Coach Chris Palmer said. "They physically manhandled us."

Baltimore then scored on five of its next six possessions and led 31-7 at halftime, outgaining the Browns 306-89 while holding the ball for nearly 21 minutes.

Tony Banks replaced Dilfer with 3:45 left in the third quarter and Baltimore up 37-7. Dilfer was 12 for 23 for 169 yards and two touchdowns.

Jamal Lewis left in the third quarter after getting 30 carries and breaking the Ravens' single-season record for yards rushing. He has 1,095, including 357 the last two weeks.

West Coast Offense? Try East Coast Defense

The Ravens are on pace to surrender an NFL record-low 166 points for a 16-game schedule, and their four shutouts are one shy of the season record set by Pittsburgh in 1976 (14 games). The Ravens' numbers:


Season Pts. PPG Record Baltimore 2000 135 10.4 9-4 Chicago 1986 187 11.7 14-2 Pittsburgh 1978 195 12.2 14-2 Denver 1978 198 12.4 10-6 Chicago 1985 198 12.4 15-1 New Orleans 1988 202 12.6 12-4


Research by Roy Jurgens

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