Final

Ravens 7

(4-6, 1-4 away)

Dolphins 26

(6-4, 4-1 home)

Coverage: CBS

4:15 PM ET, November 17, 2002

 

1 2 3 4 T
BAL 0 7 0 07
MIA 7 10 3 626

Lucas gets first victory as Dolphins' starter

MIAMI (AP) -- Three consecutive losses as a starting quarterback left Ray Lucas wondering whether he belonged in the NFL.

Allen's Analysis
Eric Allen
Question on the Ravens: Should Lewis continue to play or would he be better off with season-ending surgery?
He probably would be better off with the surgery. The Ravens need a healthy Ray Lewis. It's hard to say, though. He's so competitive, but hopefully he can see beyond this season and think about the rest of his career.

Question on the Dolphins: How big of a win was this for Lucas -- and the defense?
Miami's offense needed a win against a quality defense. And the D is playing superbly. Miami CB Patrick Surtain is the best cornerback in the AFC right now. He and Jason Taylor led the Dolphins to victory today. They'll need more of the same to be successful while QB Jay Fiedler mends.

Eric Allen played cornerback for 14 NFL seasons with the Eagles, Saints and Raiders.

But the Miami Dolphins never lost faith in their popular teammate, and he finally rewarded their confidence Sunday, throwing for 221 yards to help beat the Baltimore Ravens 26-7.

"I'm going to sleep tonight for the first time in a month,'' Lucas said, looking relieved rather than jubilant.

Miami (6-4) ended a streak of three consecutive losses, all with Lucas starting for Jay Fiedler, who will likely miss two more games with a broken thumb.

A seven-year veteran, Lucas acknowledged he began to doubt himself.

"It's a scary aspect of the business,'' he said. "To go out there and lose three straight, it creeps into your mind.''

But his fast start against Baltimore gave the Dolphins some breathing room, and their suffocating defense did the rest. Miami notched seven sacks and held the Ravens to a season-low 157 yards.

"That's a butt-kicking right there,'' linebacker Zach Thomas said. "We played some smashmouth.''

Despite their recent slump, the Dolphins remained in first place in the AFC East. The young Ravens (4-6) fell to third place in the AFC North.

"For the first time, we regressed,'' coach Brian Billick said. "It's always tough to lose, but we didn't get better today. This young group made a lot of mistakes. We need a day off. They'll get one, but they didn't earn it.''

The Dolphins, who scored a single touchdown in each of Lucas' first three starts, mounted two TD drives as they took a 17-7 halftime lead.

Baltimore failed to convert its first seven third-down situations and never threatened a comeback. Jeff Blake threw an interception that led to a Miami field goal, totaled just 127 yards passing and was constantly harried.

"He's going to be sore tomorrow,'' Miami defensive end Jason Taylor said.

The Ravens' lone score came when they surprised Miami by throwing deep on fourth-and-1. The gamble paid off with a 28-yard touchdown pass from Blake to Travis Taylor.

Otherwise, it was all Dolphins. Even with All-Pro middle linebacker Ray Lewis back for the Ravens after missing five games with a partially separated left shoulder, they gave up scoring drives of 88, 61, 43 and 82 yards.

"We made some mistakes,'' Lewis said. "This is the kind of game where we'll watch the film this week and say, 'What were we thinking?' on some plays.''

Miami's Ricky Williams tied a team record with his fifth 100-yard rushing game, but his first in five games. He gained 102 yards in 26 carries and scored on runs of 2 and 4 yards.

Lucas completed 18 of 26 passes and scored on a 1-yard sneak. The Dolphins had no turnovers after committing 12 in the past three losses, nine by Lucas.

"Ray was efficient,'' tackle Mark Dixon said. "The new-car smell is off of him. He has broken in the seats and knows how to drive the thing. That helps all of us.''

Lucas threw his longest completion since 1999 when he hit tight end Randy McMichael for a 45-yard gain. That set up Miami's first score, a 2-yard touchdown run by Williams to cap the 88-yard drive, the Dolphins' longest since the season opener.

Lamont Brightful's 43-yard punt return led to Baltimore's tying score. It came four plays later when Blake threw deep on fourth-and-1, and Taylor easily beat Sam Madison to make the catch at the goal line.

Miami mounted a 61-yard drive to regain the lead, with Lucas scoring on a 1-yard sneak. Olindo Mare's 42-yard field goal with :08 left in the first half made it 17-7.

An interception by Patrick Surtain set up a 49-yarder by Mare for a 20-7 lead.

James McKnight turned a short reception into a 39-yard gain to set up Miami's final score, a 4-yard run by Williams.

Said Williams: "We've got our swagger back.''

Game notes


Dolphins receiver Cris Carter, released from a hospital Friday after being treated for a kidney problem, watched from the sideline. He's expected to miss at least one more game. "I'm getting better every day,'' he said, "and you always feel better when you win.'' ... Ravens receiver Javin Hunter sustained a concussion in the first half. ... Lucas bruised his left elbow but didn't miss a play. ... Williams tied Delvin Williams' 1978 team record of five 100-yard rushing games in a season.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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