Ravens drop opener

Sept. 13, 2004, midnight | By Nick Falgout | 16 years, 4 months ago

Lewis, Boller feckless in disappointing loss

Last season, Jamal Lewis rushed for almost 500 yards in two games against the Cleveland Browns. At the rate he established Sunday afternoon, he'll need at least nine to even come close.

The Browns' defense held Lewis to just 57 rushing yards and the rest of the Ravens to just 197 more, beating their highly-touted rivals, 20-3. The win put the Browns at 1-0 for the first time since 1999, the season that they re-entered the league.

The Ravens, despite putting up similar stats to the Browns, lost two critical battles: turnovers and field position. On the turnover end, Ravens' quarterback Kyle Boller was intercepted twice to add to the team's two fumbles. Additionally, the Ravens special teams floundered, returning seven Cleveland punts for a combined five yards.

The teams traded field goals in the first half before new Browns' quarterback Jeff Garcia connected with Quincy Morgan for a 46-yard touchdown. Late in the fourth quarter, Garcia iced the Ravens, running three yards for a score to give the Browns a three-possession lead.

Boller, making his second consecutive season opening start for the Ravens, went 20 of 38 for 191 yards but consistently had trouble finding the open receiver, especially downfield. He also threw two interceptions, one of which led to Garcia's game-clinching touchdown run.

Jamal Lewis, who gained the second-most rushing yards ever last season, was held off by a much-improved Browns defense. A key injury to All-Pro left tackle Jonathan Ogden during the Ravens' last preseason game also contributed to Lewis's inability to break through.

The Ravens look to regroup next week versus perennial division rival Pittsburgh, while the Browns will seek to continue their winning ways versus Dallas.

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Nick Falgout. Nick Falgout was bored one day and decided to change his Chips staff information. And now, for a touching song lyric: "I'm a reasonable man, get off my case Get off my case, get off my case." ~ Radiohead, "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd … More »

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