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Ravens RB Lewis has 4th straight 100-yard day

10/13/2003

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- Arizona's Jeff Blake wanted so badly to show
the Baltimore Ravens how much they were missing without him at
quarterback anymore.

Question on the Ravens: Can this team stay in the AFC North race?
They can win this division because of their style of play and their division. The Ravens want to win games with their running game and excellent defense. In that way, they are the mirror image of the Carolina Panthers.

Question on the Cardinals: What's McGinnis' approach while so many of his offensive players are sidelined?
This is a tough season for the Cardinals' coach. He's suffered through a slew of injuries to his offensive and defensive starters. He has to motivate his backup players to play as if they were starters for this team to remain somewhat competitive.

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

Instead, he threw three interceptions on the wrong side of a
typical Ravens victory: No touchdowns for the Baltimore offense,
big plays by the defense and one crucial touchdown via special
teams.

Blake was intercepted three times, twice by Chris McAlister, who
returned the second one 83 yards for a touchdown. Ed Reed, who had
the other pick, blocked a punt and returned it 20 yards for the
other Ravens' TD in a 26-18 win over the Cardinals.

"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 gained 131
yards in 21 carries. The Ravens got a scare when Lewis bruised
right shoulder and went into the locker room for X-rays in the
second half. They were negative and he returned to the game.

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

Blake completed 22 of 36 for 247 yards and two touchdowns, but
was done in by the interceptions, the third by Reed. Baltimore had
no turnovers, so Arizona 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," Cardinals 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 as the Ravens (3-2) came off a bye week to 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 with his 13-yard TD pass to
Freddie Jones with 15 seconds to play. Blake ran for the 2-point
conversion. But the onside kick try failed.

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

"I had to watch my mouth because everybody could hear me,"
Ravens coach Brian Billick said.

The Ravens' first touchdown came when Reed burst up the middle
to block Scott Player's punt, then chased down the ball and
returned it 20 yards for a score to put the Ravens up 16-7 with
1:47 left in the first half.

"The guy sat out too far on me and it was wide open," Reed
said. "I took a chance and made the play."

Levar Fisher, who was supposed to block Reed, said he had been
coached to look out for the move the Ravens' player made and still
didn't stop it.

"That was the worst feeling in the world," Fisher said. "As
bad as I tried to let it go, it affected me the whole game. I felt
I let the whole team down. Right now it hurts."

The Cardinals (1-5) trailed 16-10 at the half and drove to the
Baltimore 22 with their first possession of the third quarter. But
on third-and-6, Blake threw to the sideline, a little behind
receiver Anquan Boldin. McAlister picked off the pass and ran
untouched into the end zone to make it 23-10 with 4:03 left in the
third.

"It was something me and (safety) Tommy Knight talked about
based on their alignment," McAlister said. "They just happened to
run the route that we had just talked about, so right place, right
time."

McAlister waved the ball and then trotted backward into the end
zone, resulting in a taunting penalty. Billick was not pleased.

"At some point he's got to learn," the coach said. "I'm sure
he's going to hear about it. He just has to understand that you
leave your team vulnerable when you let your emotions go. It wasn't
meant to be disrespectful. He's having fun with the game. He knows
it's a penalty and he's got to control himself."

The Cardinals became the first team to score a first-quarter
touchdown against the Ravens this season when they took the opening
kickoff and went 74 yards in six plays. Blake threw 14 yards to
Bryan Gilmore for the touchdown.

Lewis ran 52 yards to the Arizona 12, Dexter Jackson hanging on
the runner's back the last 10 yards, but again the Cardinals'
defense held and Stover's 29-yard field put the Ravens ahead 9-6
with 3:11 left in the first half.

"I took him for a long ride. That was pretty sweet," Lewis
said. "I wish I could have taken him to the end zone."<
^Notes: The Cardinals were without Emmitt Smith, who broke his left
shoulder blade early in last week's loss at Dallas and is out four
to six weeks. His replacement Marcel Shipp gained 61 yards in 14
carries and caught five passes for 47 yards. ... Tight end Freddie
Jones caught seven passes, the most in 2{ seasons with Arizona. ...
With the effects of the heat and Lewis' sore right shoulder, Ravens
backup Chester Taylor gained 45 yards in 10 carries. ... Arizona
was down to three receivers at the finish -- Boldin, Kevin Kasper
and Nathan Poole.