- The Washington Times - Monday, January 14, 2002

MIAMI Three key performers in the Baltimore Ravens' 20-3 victory over the Miami Dolphins yesterday at Pro Player Stadium either were not with the team or were injured during last year's Super Bowl run.
Quarterback Elvis Grbac, running back Terry Allen and wide receiver Travis Taylor watched the Ravens storm through last January. Yesterday, in the AFC wild-card game, that trio did the plowing.
Grbac, who was with the Kansas City Chiefs last season, was an economical 12 of 18 for 133 yards and one touchdown but, most importantly, had no turnovers. Allen, who barely played last season for the New Orleans Saints, rushed for a game-high 109 yards on 25 carries. Taylor, who missed all of last season's Super Bowl run with a broken shoulder, caught two passes for 45 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown strike from Grbac.
"It was real sweet," Taylor said. "Today was my first playoff game because I missed the whole playoffs last year, so that makes it really sweet."

Once is enough
Ravens right defensive end Peter Boulware was matched against former Ravens teammate and Dolphins starting left tackle Spencer Folau.
Boulware, who led the AFC this season with 15 sacks, made the defensive play of the game when he sacked and stripped Dolphins quarterback Jay Fiedler early in the fourth quarter.
"We had the game under control, and [the fumble] was more of slamming the door shut, the game is over," Boulware said. "Score here and it's over. When you get in a situation like that, a turnover seals the game. That's what we want to do."

Down on the Dolphins
Miami Pro Bowl linebacker Zach Thomas was an angry young man after the loss that ended his team's season at 11-6, knocking it out of the playoffs short of the Super Bowl for the fifth straight year.
"We weren't fooling anybody at the end of the year [a 2-2 stretch run]," said Thomas, who said his ailing neck would have kept him out of next week's game had Miami won yesterday. "We weren't playing great football. We've got to get better. Who can tell me … after those two weeks that we were getting run on [against San Francisco and New England in weeks 14 and 15] and we couldn't get any points up, that we were going to the Super Bowl?"

Chambers scratched
Miami rookie receiver Chris Chambers, who led the NFL with 18.4 yards a catch, was inactive because of two badly sprained ankles.
"If we have Chris in there, [Baltimore cornerbacks Duane Starks and Chris McAlister] have to play some different coverages," said James McKnight, who failed to replace Chambers as the deep threat, averaging just 6.5 yards on four catches. "They know he's a threat down the field, so that gives us a better opportunity to take advantage of the defense."

You're outta here
Ravens rookie linebacker Edgerton Hartwell was ejected after a scuffle with the Dolphins' Twan Russell and Matt Turk just 7:35 into the first quarter. Hartwell was tossed after throwing a forearm to Russell's head. Turk then came to his teammate's defense but wasn't cited for shoving Hartwell. The rookie mistake ultimately didn't cost the Ravens, though, as they marched 90 yards in 17 plays for what would prove to be the winning touchdown.
In a rare physical day for a punter, Turk was later whistled for a face-mask of Baltimore punt returner Jermaine Lewis, but the infraction was offset by a holding call.

A winning combination
Ravens tight end Shannon Sharpe set an NFL record by playing in his 12th straight playoff victory. Sharpe, who was tied with former Denver and Baltimore teammate Harry Swayne (now with Miami), began the streak with the Broncos in 1997. Denver went 4-0 en route to the Super Bowl title that year and 3-0 in repeating in 1998. The Ravens are 5-0 in the playoffs the last two years.
Baltimore coach Brian Billick's fifth consecutive victory to open his postseason career tied him with former Oakland coach Tom Flores for the second-longest such streak. Billick can equal former Washington coach Joe Gibbs' record if the Ravens win the divisional playoff game Sunday in Pittsburgh.

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