- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 1, 2001


BALTIMORE Anytime, any place, anywhere, the Baltimore Ravens own the New York Giants.

The final preseason game presented the Giants with an opportunity for a dose of payback and redemption for the whipping the Ravens doled out in last year's Super Bowl.

In a game that didn't count, marshaled by replacement referees, the Ravens took the Giants to the woodshed for the second time in eight months. The Ravens scored two rushing and two passing touchdowns and added a defensive touchdown on a 19-yard fumble return by reserve defensive tackle Kelly Gregg en route to a 38-9 victory yesterday at PSINet Stadium before 66,197.

"We've got quarterbacks knocking people on their butt, we've got whatever's [like Gregg] running four-flat 40's … we've got guys doing all sorts of things," Ravens coach Brian Billick said.

The Ravens offense finally exploded after two lackluster preseason performances, racking up 336 yards of total offense. Running back Terry Allen scored the Ravens' first touchdown on a 1-yard plunge. Backup Jason Brookins rushed for 112 yards on 10 carries and added a 2-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

Chris Redman, the Ravens backup quarterback, threw touchdown passes of nine and 18 yards and completed 10 of 11 passes for 70 yards. The Ravens did not allow a touchdown and the Giants scored their points on three Morten Andersen field goals (27, 33 and 34 yards).

"This team needed to get to the regular season," Billick said. "It's a very veteran group, it's time to get to the regular season."

There is no love lost between these teams. During the week, there was a war of words between players in the New York tabloids. Giants defensive tackle Keith Hamilton said he can't watch "Hard Knocks," an HBO series that takes an inside look at the Ravens training camp.

"It makes me want to throw up," Hamilton told the New York Post. "Just the thought of looking at [Billick]. I didn't really care too much for his attitude. He was a little too cocky, a little too arrogant for somebody whose team doesn't do anything offensively."

Ravens tight end Shannon Sharpe told the New York Daily News that the Ravens could have turned last January's Super Bowl into a 50-0 rout. Ray Lewis, Baltimore's Pro Bowl middle linebacker, said the Ravens "could have run the score up easily. I think anybody who watched the game saw that."

With shots fired from both sides during the week, Sharpe said there was tension at the coin toss.

"I thought me and Ray and [Giants Jessie Armstead and Michael Strahan] were going to have to go to blows at the coin toss, but me and Ray we didn't have our helmets, so we kind of backed down until we got to the sidelines and got our helmets and went back at it again," Sharpe said. "There's no love lost between these two teams. With the exception of [Giants coach Jim] Fassel, who I have a lot of respect for because he was my coordinator, their players I really don't care for."

Trailing 6-0, the Ravens got on the board early in the second quarter. Starting quarterback Elvis Grbac engineered a five-play, 52-yard drive that took 2 minutes, 3 seconds. Grbac, who played in just the first four possessions, went 2-for-2 for 47 yards on the scoring drive.

On first-and-10 at the Ravens 48, Grbac found wide receiver Brandon Stokley for a 35-yard bomb down the left sideline. A 12-yard slant to wide receiver Qadry Ismail put the ball at the Giants 4. Two plays later, Allen went over the top from a yard out to give the Ravens a 7-6 lead 10:03 before halftime. The Ravens never trailed again.

The Ravens first-team offense showed life against a solid Giants defense. Grbac completed four of nine passes for 86 yards. The 33-year-old Allen carried the ball 12 times for 29 yards.

Despite Brookins' big game, Billick said Allen, an 11-year veteran, will be the Ravens starting back next Sunday against the Chicago Bears in the season opener. Brookins, who averaged 11.2 yards a carry, broke a 70-yard run off right tackle in the third quarter that set up Redman's 9-yard scoring pass to Jermaine Lewis and a commanding 24-9 lead.

"[Brookins has] obviously been running real hard, he's beginning to understand a little bit more where the holes are," Billick said of his first-year back out of tiny Lane College. "We want to get to the point where we can be comfortable putting him in situations, particularly in the second half of a game, where you really want to pound away at people. He has that capacity and we saw a little bit of that today."

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