- The Washington Times - Monday, December 1, 2003

BALTIMORE — For the first time this season, all three phases of the game — offense, defense and special teams — came together for the Baltimore Ravens.

Maybe it had something to do with Pro Bowl middle linebacker Ray Lewis addressing the team midweek and flashing his diamond-studded Super Bowl ring saying in so many words, “one of these can be yours if you want it.”

The Ravens turned four San Francisco interceptions into 24 points as they blasted the 49ers 44-6 yesterday in the franchise’s largest margin of victory before 69,549 at M&T; Bank Stadium.

The lopsided win for the Ravens (7-5) sets up Sunday’s AFC North showdown against the co-division leader Cincinnati Bengals (7-5) in Baltimore.

For the third time this season, the Ravens defense did not allow a touchdown. Interceptions by linebackers Ed Hartwell, Lewis, cornerback Gary Baxter and safety Will Demps tied a team record — set four previous times — and caused 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia to have his worst day as a pro.

Garcia, who sat out the past three games with a high ankle sprain, finished with a horrid 18.8 quarterback rating by completing 14 of 29 passes for 112 yards and four interceptions.

“Embarrassing game,” 49ers first-year coach Dennis Erickson said. “Didn’t play well, basically, in all areas. Starting with me. I look at the game itself in the second quarter where we were playing pretty well, we had some opportunities. Obviously, they scored 17 points in a matter of a minute, 40 seconds, or whatever the heck it was, and we just never recovered from it. Just no consistency offensively, just couldn’t get the ball in the end zone.”

The Ravens’ 44 points tied the team record for the most in a game. In the final 1:57 before halftime, the Ravens broke open the game with 17 unanswered points and took a commanding 24-6 lead into the locker room.

The onslaught started with a 28-yard field goal by Matt Stover that extended the Ravens lead to 10-6 with less than two minutes in the half. After a 49ers three-and-out, the Ravens took over at the San Francisco 49 with 1:18 left courtesy of a 15-yard face mask call on 49ers special teamer Terry Jackson against Ravens punt returner Lamont Brightful.

Two plays later, Ravens quarterback Anthony Wright connected with wide receiver Marcus Robinson over the middle for a 38-yard touchdown that made it 17-6. Lewis’ 29-yard interception return for a touchdown, which deflected off 49ers receiver Cedrick Wilson, helped ensure San Francisco (5-7) would remain winless on the road this season.

The Ravens scored 44 points on just 282 yards of total offense. Wright completed 14 of 25 passes for 177 yards and two touchdowns. Wright added a 6-yard fourth-quarter scoring strike to tight end Terry Jones Jr. that made it 34-6.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide