- The Washington Times - Monday, December 3, 2001

BALTIMORE Anybody who can think of a new way to turn over the football, please contact Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick. He wants to hear from you.
"If there's another way to turn the ball over, I'm not aware of it," Billick said. "So, you're going to have to submit it in writing."
The Ravens and Indianapolis Colts combined for eight turnovers. Fortunately for the Ravens, the Colts committed the last miscue and left Baltimore standing in a high-scoring shootout.
Ravens safety Rod Woodson returned a fourth-quarter interception 47 yards for a touchdown to preserve a 39-27 Ravens victory over the Colts before 69,382 at PSINet Stadium.
This sloppy win puts the Ravens (8-4) in good position for an AFC playoff spot with four games remaining as they head into their bye week. The Ravens remain in sole possession of second place in the AFC Central, 11/2 games behind the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2).
Both teams lost three fumbles and both quarterbacks threw interceptions that were returned for touchdowns. With about five minutes left in the third quarter, 22 of the 32 total points were scored off turnovers.
The Ravens' miscues started early. With Baltimore leading 10-3 in the second quarter, quarterback Elvis Grbac tried to force a pass to running back Moe Williams in the right flat. Jeff Burris, the Colts left cornerback, stepped in front of Willams and raced 30 yards to tie the game 10-10. It was the third interception Grbac has thrown this season which was returned for a touchdown.
"What can I do, it was tipped at the line of scrimmage, I think," Grbac said.
Later in the second quarter, it was Williams' turn to lose the ball. Williams, who rushed for a career high 111 yards on 24 carries, fumbled with the Ravens threatening at the Colts 3-yard line. The Colts recovered Williams' fumble in the end zone for a touchback.
Ravens kick returner Jermaine Lewis fumbled a kickoff into the end zone late the third quarter with the Ravens leading 19-13. Lewis returned Mike Vanderjagt's kickoff 64 yards until Colts reserve defensive back Clifton Crosby caught Lewis from behind and punched the ball out of his grasp at the Colts 30. Crosby, who played at Maryland, hit the ball so hard that it sailed into the end zone.
On their ensuing possession, the Colts (4-7) took a 20-19 lead on a 40-yard Peyton Manning to Marcus Pollard scoring strike.
"He got it clean, I don't know how he got it from the back, but he obviously got it real clean," Lewis said.
Shannon Sharpe, the Ravens sure-handed tight end, fumbled in the third quarter deep in Ravens territory that led to a Colts field goal. On first-and-10 at their own 1-yard line, Grbac hit Sharpe over the middle at the 15. Cornerback David Macklin came from behind and caused the fumble. Safety Chad Cota scooped up Sharpe's fumble and returned it to the Ravens 10. Four plays later, Vanderjagt made a 25-yard field goal that cut the Ravens lead to 19-13.
Offensively, the Ravens finally moved the ball against the league's 27th-rated defense. The Ravens rolled up a season-high 398 yards of total offense. Grbac completed 23 of 39 passes for 268 and two touchdowns, including a 5-yard, fourth-quarter strike to wide receiver Qadry Ismail that turned out to be the game-winning touchdown with 13:29 left to give the Ravens a 32-27 lead.
Ravens fullback Obafemi Ayanbadejo scored two touchdowns a 5-yard second-quarter pass from Grbac and a 9-yard third-quarter run for his first career two-touchdown game. Ravens kicker Matt Stover booted a season-high four field goals (26, 30, 29, and 27 yards).
Williams, who had just 17 yards on 14 carries (1.2 avg.) in the first half, ripped off a 55-yard run in the third quarter and a 22-yard burst on the last play of the third quarter. In the third quarter alone, Williams rushed for 83 yards.
"We knew we had to have some resemblance of a run game," Sharpe said. "Sometimes it's not pretty, but we just try to stay on key with it. Today, we had a lot of negative plays that I would have liked not to have seen, but for the most part Moe did a great job."

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide