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Mare nails 43-yard game-winner

11/17/2003

MIAMI (AP) -- Fans booed when Ricky Williams failed to find
running room, and they chanted a profanity at coach Dave Wannstedt
as time ran out in regulation. Then a clutch kick by Olindo Mare
turned the jeers to cheers.

Question on the Ravens: Is Wright the right answer at QB for the rest of this year?
For a quarterback to be successful he needs his coaching staff to be comfortable in his ability to run the offense and Wright has that. The Ravens aren't counting on Wright to lead them to victory -- they want RB Jamal Lewis to do that. But they do want their QB to manage the game and they seem to have confidence that Wright can accomplish that goal. I don't see coach Brian Billick making a change this season.

Question on the Dolphins: Can Williams handle carrying the ball 35-plus times a game down the stretch?
He definitely can handle the load, and because of this team's game plan, he doesn't have much of a choice. Coach Dave Wannstedt and his staff have made no secret of their desire to ram the ball down the opposing team's throats. With the uncertainty surrounding the Dolphins quarterback situation, Williams' efforts are going to be needed more than ever.

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

Mare made a 43-yard field goal with 8:48 left in overtime, and
the Miami Dolphins salvaged an ugly afternoon by beating the
Baltimore Ravens 9-6 Sunday.

"Ugly or not, we needed it," defensive end Adewale Ogunleye
said. "When the season's over, nobody is going to say, 'They
barely beat the Ravens."

The Dolphins won despite another dismal offensive effort and
another untimely miss by Mare, who has been shaky under pressure
this season. His 48-yard attempt sailed wide right with the score
tied and 2:29 left in regulation, but Mare redeemed himself in
overtime.

"Obviously you would like to win it in regulation," he said.
"But I tried to keep everybody on their toes and keep the
concession stands open."

NFL rushing leader Jamal Lewis lost a fumble to set up Mare's
clincher, which ended a defensive struggle that produced no
touchdowns and lots of missed opportunities.

The Dolphins (6-4) snapped a two-game losing streak and eased
pressure on the much-criticized Wannstedt -- at least for a week.
Fans mocked the coach with a chant when he chose to run out the
clock with a first down at the Miami 20 and 51 seconds left in
regulation.

"We were going to take it to overtime," Wannstedt said. "I
was not going to take a chance of throwing the ball and having to
punt into the wind and then give them the ball at the 50-yard
line."

His strategy proved smart. Lewis bobbled a handoff in overtime,
and Zach Thomas wrestled the ball away from him at the Baltimore
33. Three plays later, Mare made his third field goal of the day.

With their second consecutive defeat, the Ravens (5-5) fell into
a tie with Cincinnati for the lead in the AFC North. They lost
because they totaled just 220 yards, were penalized 88 yards and
committed three turnovers, giving them 10 in the last two games.

"To win the NFL is very simple," linebacker Ray Lewis said.
"If you don't turn the ball over, you win."

Miami limited Jamal Lewis to 88 yards on 26 carries. It was just
the third time this season he has failed to reach 100 yards, and
the Dolphins are the only team that has yet to allow anyone to
reach the milestone.

Williams surpassed the 100 mark for the first time in seven
games, but he needed 36 carries to total 105 yards. He failed to
gain a yard on seven consecutive carries, and the crowd booed at
least two of the plays.

The Ravens' offense was even worse. Anthony Wright, playing in
his first game since 2001 when he was with Dallas, threw for just
112 yards. He went 14-for-25 with two interceptions in place of
rookie Kyle Boller, who hurt his left leg last week.

"It was sad we couldn't pull this one off," Wright said.
"We're a much better team than what we showed."

Matt Stover made field goals of 39 and 45 yards, and that was
the extent of Baltimore's scoring. Mare hit in regulation from 23
and 52 yards, the latter his longest this season.

The Ravens had a chance to take the lead with less than six
minutes left in regulation when Ed Reed intercepted Brian Griese to
give them the ball at the Miami 36. But two plays later, Sammy
Knight intercepted Wright.

Griese, again filling in for the injured Jay Fiedler, went
13-for-32 for 126 yards and one interception.

The game quickly settled into a defensive standoff. The Ravens'
biggest gain was a kickoff return. Miami's biggest gain was an
interception return. Baltimore's first scoring "drive" lost 6
yards. The Dolphins' first scoring drive covered all of 18 yards.

Though low-scoring, the game was also a seesaw contest, and
twice the Ravens came from behind to tie it.

"We could have easily cracked," Miami linebacker Junior Seau
said. "That didn't happen."

Game notes
Ravens DE Anthony Weaver hurt his shoulder and sat out the
second half. ... Miami G Jamie Nails hurt his left ankle early in
the second half, and Miami RG Todd Perry hurt his right elbow. ...
Miami CB Patrick Surtain, nursing a sore right ankle, played only
briefly. ... Fiedler, still slowed by a sprained knee, was
designated Miami's third quarterback. ... During pregame
introductions, Baltimore coach Brian Billick was identified as
"Brian Belichick."