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Ravens Pick Away at Blake

October 13, 2003|From Associated Press

TEMPE, Ariz. — Jeff Blake of the Arizona Cardinals wanted badly to show the Baltimore Ravens what they're missing.

Instead, he had three passes intercepted and ended up on the wrong side of a typical Raven victory: No touchdowns for the Baltimore offense, big plays by the defense and one crucial touchdown via special teams.

Blake had two passes intercepted by Chris McAlister, who returned the second one 83 yards for a touchdown. Ed Reed, who had the other interception, blocked a punt and returned it 20 yards for the other Raven touchdown in a 26-18 victory.

"That's the way the game is, you know," Blake said. "Two plays can make you or break you."

Jamal Lewis set a franchise record with his fourth consecutive 100-yard rushing game. The NFL's powerful leading rusher had 131 yards in 21 carries. The Ravens got a scare when Lewis bruised his right shoulder and went into the locker room for X-rays in the second half. They were negative and he returned.

"It was just a little hurt," Lewis said.

Blake completed 22 of 36 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns, but was done in by the interceptions. Baltimore had no turnovers, so Arizona (1-5) is minus-14 in turnover margin, by far the worst in the NFL.

"It's a tired thing that I keep talking about, turning the football over," Coach Dave McGinnis said. "Plus you put the blocked punt in there. It puts you so far behind the eight-ball in this league."

McAlister's first pick set up the second of Matt Stover's four field goals, helping the Ravens (3-2) stay in first place in the AFC North.

Blake, the Ravens' starter last year who left in a contentious contract dispute, cut the lead to eight points with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Freddie Jones with 15 seconds to play. Blake ran for the two-point conversion. But the on-side kick try failed.

The kickoff temperature was 96 degrees, and the paid attendance 24,193, but there were fewer than that in 73,000-seat Sun Devil Stadium.

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