Ravens turn in 'complete' game
Published: Monday, December 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, November 30, 2003 at 11:37 p.m.
BALTIMORE - The defense returned to form, the offense matched the standard it set one week earlier, and the special teams were spectacular.
It added up to the most lopsided victory in the history of the Baltimore Ravens, a 44-6 rout of the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday that served as a perfect tuneup for next week's clash for first place in the AFC North.
Ray Lewis returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown to cap a 17-point flurry in the second quarter, and the rejuvenated Ravens cruised past the road-weary 49ers.
``This is a complete game for us, the kind of game we're capable of having,'' Ravens coach Brian Billick said. ``It's what we're going to need the rest of the way to get done what we want to get done.''
That would be a return to the playoffs following a one-year absence. Baltimore can take a huge step in that direction next week against Cincinnati, which beat Pittsburgh to remain tied with the Ravens atop the division.
The Bengals beat Baltimore in Cincinnati earlier this season, and the Ravens have been itching for the rematch.
``Now we can focus on Cincinnati. Everybody else is out of the way,'' Lewis said.
One week earlier, the Ravens trailed Seattle by 14 points at halftime and by 17 in the fourth quarter before rallying to win. Baltimore (7-5) took a far easier path against the 49ers, building a 24-6 halftime lead before coasting.
``Our offense is definitely setting a trend,'' said Gary Baxter, who had a key interception. ``They're setting a standard to do that every week. And that's what we want them to do.''
Domanick Davis struck for two touchdowns and David Carr made his own unplanned appearance to lead the second-year Texans (5-7) to a franchise-high fifth win.
Vick, the top overall draft choice in 2001 who set an NFL rushing mark for quarterbacks with 1,066 yards over his first two seasons, made his debut with 2:14 remaining in the third quarter. He completed a 9-yard pass to Justin Griffith on his first play for Atlanta (2-10).
It was the first game in franchise history the Seahawks (8-4) had a 300-yard passer, a 100-yard rusher and two 100-yard receivers.
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