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Ravens Lose Lewis, but Hang On to Win

October 07, 2002|From Associated Press

CLEVELAND — Ray Lewis couldn't do anything but watch--and wince--as the Cleveland Browns rallied.

For the second time in six days, Lewis made a national TV game his own prime-time special as the Baltimore Ravens built a big lead and held on for a 26-21 victory Sunday night.

But when his teammates needed their star linebacker the most, Lewis couldn't help them. He hurt his left shoulder late in the third quarter and did not return.

"I was cheering on the sideline," Lewis said. "I banged it bad, and you know me, I want to play. But coach said we have a long season, and to take a seat."

Before he left, Lewis had an interception, forced a fumble that he recovered and made four tackles.

When he was injured, the Browns (2-3) trailed, 23-0, but with starting quarterback Tim Couch sitting dazed on the bench because of a concussion, Cleveland rallied behind Kelly Holcomb.

After recovering an on-side kick, the Browns drove to the Baltimore 17 in the final minute, but Holcomb's last pass was picked off by safety Ed Reed.

"I guess I saved the best for last," Reed said. "We weren't going to give up because we lost Ray. Ray's the guy that has taught us that you go all-out no matter what."

Following the game, Couch, who was booed by Brown fans before getting hurt, broke down while firing back at his critics.

"I've been here four years now, and laid it on the line for this team and city," Couch said, his eyes filled with tears. "For them to turn on me and boo me in my home stadium is a joke. It's hard to take, man."

Brandon Stokley caught two touchdown passes from Chris Redman and the Ravens (2-2)--who looked pitiful in their first two games this season--moved into first place in the weak AFC North Division.

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