Browns 3

(2-3, 1-2 away)

Ravens 16

(2-3, 2-1 home)

1:00 PM ET, October 16, 2005


1 2 3 4 T
CLE 0 0 3 03
BAL 10 6 0 016

Top Performers

Passing: A. Wright (BAL) - 213 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: C. Taylor (BAL) - 8 CAR, 92 YDS

Receiving: D. Mason (BAL) - 8 REC, 85 YDS

Ravens' defense smothers Dilfer, Browns

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The fact that Trent Dilfer was the opposing quarterback, playing for a division rival, was not important to the Baltimore Ravens defense.

It was over when ...
Matt Stover's 39-yard field goal gave Baltimore a 10-point lead with just under four minutes to go in the first quarter. After getting embarrassed in Detroit last week, the Ravens were not going to let a rare early lead slip away.
Game ball goes to ...
Baltimore quarterback Anthony Wright. While the Ravens' D was characteristically stingy, Wright was uncharacteristically consistent, going 23-for-31 with one touchdown against one pick. He managed the game well enough to give Baltimore a good chance to win.
ESPN's take ...
Eric Allen You have to say week in and week out that there are several teams that look like they are going to implode. The Ravens looked like they were going to be one of those teams, but instead they showed their veteran leadership and elevated their game. Wright played a solid game and seemed to connect well with TE Todd Heap, who was coming back from injury. Cleveland still has some room to grow, but it played a team in a do-or-die position and couldn't overcome the Ravens' passion.
-- Eric Allen

They were determined to make amends for an embarrassing performance one week earlier, and harassing their former teammate was merely a means to that end.

Baltimore forced Dilfer into three turnovers and sacked him four times Sunday, key ingredients in a 16-3 win over the Cleveland Browns.

Todd Heap scored the only touchdown for the Ravens (2-3), who were off to the worst start in franchise history after being penalized 21 times last week in a 35-17 defeat at Detroit.

"It doesn't matter who was at quarterback or what team you were playing, we needed to get a win here today," said Baltimore linebacker Tommy Polley, who had 1½ sacks. "Everybody was doubting us, but we stuck together as a team all week."

Against the Lions, the Ravens received several unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, and Terrell Suggs and Ed Reed were ejected for shoving officials. The entire defense played with much more composure against the Browns, who didn't get past the Baltimore 47 in the decisive first half.

"We played smarter, and we played for each other," cornerback Samari Rolle said.

Dilfer led the Ravens to a lopsided win in the 2001 Super Bowl but was released after the season when Baltimore signed Elvis Grbac. Neither Dilfer nor the Ravens have fared well since parting ways, and this was a chance for the quarterback to show his former teammates -- and coach Brian Billick -- what they're missing.

Nothing went according to plan.

Back in Baltimore as a starter for the first time since his departure, Dilfer struggled from the outset. He fumbled a snap on Cleveland's first offensive play, setting up Heap's touchdown, and lost another fumble that led to a field goal.

"I didn't play well. We didn't play well on offense," Dilfer said. "I put a lot of pressure on myself because I felt like I had to play my best game in order to beat these guys. The atmosphere wasn't that big a deal; I've played in a lot of hostile environments."

Dilfer practiced against Ray Lewis during the 2000 season, but Sunday he was forced to go up against the standout linebacker under vastly different circumstances. Lewis won the battle: He recovered Dilfer's first fumble, had an interception and was credited with five tackles.

Dilfer finished 16-for-30 for 147 yards, and the Browns (2-3) failed to score a touchdown for the first time this season.

"They're good. They rush everybody, they hit you," Dilfer said.

His counterpart, Anthony Wright, was 23-for-31 for 213 yards and a score. Chester Taylor ran for 92 yards, Jamal Lewis had 59 yards rushing and Derrick Mason caught eight passes for 85 yards.

Cleveland managed only four first downs and 66 yards in offense in the first half and trailed 16-0 at the break. The Browns' lone points came on a 24-yard field goal by Phil Dawson midway through the third quarter.

"We took a step back today," first-year coach Romeo Crennel said. "Now we have to go back to the drawing board, start over and try to dig ourselves out of a hole."

Baltimore got its initial first-quarter touchdown of the season after Lewis recovered Dilfer's fumble on the Cleveland 20. Five plays later, Wright threw a 3-yarder to Heap, marking the first time this season the Ravens scored a touchdown off a turnover.

The Browns then punted, and a 51-yard return by B.J. Sams set up a 39-yard field goal by Matt Stover for a 10-0 lead.

"When we get a lead like that of 10 points, the defense can sit back and play the way they want to play," Heap said. "When they're able to do that, they're a lot more dangerous."

On Baltimore's next possession, a career-best 52-yard run by Taylor preceded a 27-yard field goal to make it 13-0.

Late in the half, after Gary Baxter intercepted a deflected pass to ruin a Baltimore drive that had consumed nearly six minutes, Dilfer fumbled while being sacked by Suggs. Adalius Thomas recovered on the Cleveland 36 to set up a field goal by Stover on the final play of the half.

Baltimore came in with a minus-9 turnover differential, but on this afternoon, the Ravens won the turnover battle -- and the game.

Game notes

Reed, Baltimore wide receiver Mark Clayton and fullback Ovie Mughelli left with ankle sprains. ... Cleveland linebacker Nick Speegle also left with an ankle injury. ... Umpire Butch Hannah sprained a knee ligament in a collision with Heap. He will be out three to four weeks.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs1216
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays5265
Total Yards186351
Yards per play3.65.4
Total Drives913
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-10-5
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

balTD8:54Todd Heap, 3 yd pass from Anthony Wright (Matt Stover kick is good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 20 yds, 2:32
balFG3:11Matt Stover 31 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, 15 yds, 3:48
balFG12:41Matt Stover 19 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 10 plays, 84 yds, 10:30
balFG0:05Matt Stover 29 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 7 plays, 17 yds, 1:12
cleFG7:39Phil Dawson 17 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 13 plays, 60 yds, 7:17