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NFL / WEEK 9 | PITTSBURGH 9, BALTIMORE 6

Steelers Keep Ravens Out of Touch

October 30, 2000|From Associated Press

BALTIMORE — It's becoming the standard formula for success against the Baltimore Ravens: Score one touchdown and let the defense do the rest.

The Pittsburgh Steeler offense struggled with quarterback Kordell Stewart, but Baltimore went a fifth consecutive game without a touchdown Sunday and lost its third in a row, 9-6.

Pittsburgh stretched its winning streak to five despite getting just one touchdown and a gift-wrapped field goal. Stewart, starting ahead of an ineffective Kent Graham, completed nine of 18 passes for 133 yards and a score.

"It wasn't the prettiest of them all," Stewart said. "But to come in here to Baltimore, considering what's gone on with us, I'll take this win and run to Mexico and back three or four times."

Pittsburgh (5-3) vaulted past Baltimore (5-4) and into second place in the AFC Central.

"When the offense is not scoring, we can't give up any touchdowns," Raven safety Rod Woodson said. "Each week we've given up one. If we want to be great, we can't give up any."

Raven quarterback Trent Dilfer, starting in place of the slumping Tony Banks, completed 11 of 24 passes for 152 yards. But he couldn't take Baltimore into the end zone, fumbling inside the Pittsburgh 10 on the opening drive and throwing an interception that resulted in a touchback.

"It's definitely disappointing," Dilfer said. "But we're not all going to slit our wrists. We've just got to go back to work to fix this thing."

Baltimore went the month of October without a touchdown, losing three of five games. The Ravens' touchdown drought is 306 minutes, 39 seconds, dating to the fourth quarter of their Sept. 24 game against Cincinnati and covering 58 possessions.

The Baltimore offense suffered another blow when it lost rookie wide receiver Travis Taylor, who broke his collarbone in the fourth quarter and will be out for at least four weeks.

Pittsburgh, coming off two shutouts in a row, yielded two first-half field goals by Matt Stover, who has scored the Ravens' last 46 points. But the Steelers have not yielded a touchdown in 16 successive quarters.

The Steelers forged a 6-6 tie on their second offensive play of the third quarter when Hines Ward outleaped Duane Starks for a long pass at the five-yard line and strolled into the end zone to complete a 45-yard play.

The conversion kick by Kris Brown went wide, but Corey Harris fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Pittsburgh recovered at the Baltimore 27. Six plays later, Brown kicked a 24-yard field goal to put the Steelers ahead, 9-6.

The Ravens' struggles left Coach Brian Billick to defend his stature as an offensive wizard.

"If anyone wants to intimate that all of a sudden I don't know what I'm doing, and that my 25 years is a sham, and I faked my way to this point, they can have at it," Billick said.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

5 hours, 6 minutes 39 seconds...and counting

It has been 20 quarters since the Ravens' last touchdown, a one yard plunge by fullback Obafemi Ayanbadejo at 8:21 of the fourth quarter Sept. 24th against Cincinnati The NFL record for most quarters without a touchdown was set by the Indianapolis Colts, who went 21 quarters without reaching the end zone in 1991. Kicker Matt Stover has scored the last 46 points for Baltimore, which did not score a touchdown in the month of October, while losing three of five games.

*--*

Date Opponent Result Matt Stover Oct 01 at Cleveland Won 12 - 0 4 field goals Oct 08 at Jacksonville Won 15 - 10 5 field goals Oct 15 at Washington Lost 3 - 10 1 field goal Oct 22 Tennessee Lost 6 - 14 2 field goals Oct 29 Pittsburgh Lost 6 - 9 2 field goals

*--*

TOTALS

58 offensive possessions 2-3 14 field goals

Research by Roy Jurgens

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