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Ravens Take Easy Rout to Victory

September 25, 2000|From Associated Press

BALTIMORE — Coming off a game in which their offense sputtered and the defense was manhandled, Baltimore was looking for a turnaround Sunday.

Hello, Cincinnati!

Rookie Jamal Lewis ran for 116 yards and a touchdown to back a dominating effort by the Baltimore defense, and the Ravens forced four turnovers in a 37-0 rout of the hapless Bengals.

Tony Banks threw two touchdown passes for the Ravens (3-1), who were intent on bouncing back from a 19-6 defeat in Miami last week.

"We needed this for our confidence. We needed this, period," said defensive tackle Rob Burnett, who knocked Cincinnati quarterback Akili Smith out of the game in the second quarter. "It's very gratifying to be able to throw a goose egg, especially after what happened last week."

The Bengals (0-3) proved to be the perfect cure. Cincinnati, which had only four yards rushing, has been outscored, 74-7.

The Baltimore defense figured to have its way against the punchless Bengals. After Smith left with a concussion, it became a sure thing.

"We were concerned about Akili because of his athleticism. We were concerned about him getting out of the pocket and making big plays," Burnett said.

Smith's replacement, the 240-pound Scott Mitchell, never got it going in his first NFL appearance in more than a year. Mitchell, who played in two games with Baltimore last year, completed 14 of 23 passes for 97 yards.

It was the Ravens' second shutout this season and their most lopsided victory since starting play in Baltimore in 1996. Dating to last season, Cincinnati has lost five straight games, three by shutout.

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