Final

Lions 6

(1-2, 0-2 away)

Ravens 17

(2-1, 2-0 home)

8:00 PM ET, August 28, 2004

 

1 2 3 4 T
DET 3 3 0 06
BAL 3 0 7 717

Ray Lewis: D 'starting to jell'

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Baltimore Ravens used their standard formula for victory -- with a different cast of characters.

Backup running back Chester Taylor ran for 117 yards and two touchdowns, and the Ravens received a solid performance from their depleted defense in beating the Detroit Lions 17-6 Saturday night.

Cornerback Chris McAlister remains a holdout, and the Ravens were without injured starters Anthony Weaver, Peter Boulware, Marques Douglas and Corey Fuller. But backup safety Gerome Sapp forced two turnovers in the second half, and Baltimore (2-1) did not yield a touchdown for the second time in three games.

"We had a lot of guys out there do some good things, particularly that second group that had to come in against their first offense," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "We've given up one defensive touchdown in three games, and that covers the whole spectrum of the defensive guys there, so that's good."

Middle linebacker Ray Lewis, who had three tackles before leaving in the second quarter, said, "We're starting to jell now. We still have some missing pieces to fill, but the pieces we have now are giving us what we need."

Taylor ran for an 84-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter, giving Baltimore a 10-6 lead. It was the first of 10 carries for Taylor, who's second on the depth chart behind 2003 NFL rushing leader Jamal Lewis.

"This is basically the most carries I ever had. When my number's called, I just go in there and step up," Taylor said. "I'm ready. That's why they drafted me, that's why I'm here."

The Lions were pleased with the way they played in the first half, when both teams were using their first units.

"When we left the locker room ... I said let's fight this team for a half. They're a playoff team," Detroit coach Steve Mariucci said. "Let's slug it out with them and find out how we stack up against this team. We came out of it 6-3 at halftime, scored on our opening drive for the third time in a row, held them to 28 yards rushing, punted the ball well."

The Lions limited Jamal Lewis to 4 yards on four carries and repeatedly pressured Baltimore quarterback Kyle Boller, who finished 9-for-14 for 93 yards.

Using their starting offense only in the first half, the Lions (1-2) failed to reach the end zone, but got two field goals from Jason Hanson.

Joey Harrington went 11-for-20 for 98 yards and no interceptions, and rookie running back Kevin Jones gained 36 yards on seven carries. Top draft pick Roy Williams, who didn't make a catch in Detroit's first two games, had three receptions for 40 yards.

"I think it was a great test for us," Harrington said. "Ed Reed, Gary Baxter, Ray Lewis -- that's a pretty good defense in itself. To go out and beat them the first half, I think that gives us a definite shot of confidence."

Detroit missed a chance to score early in the fourth quarter when wide receiver Trevor Gaylor fumbled out of the end zone, and the Ravens moved 79 yards before Kordell Stewart lost a snap at the 1.

Sapp then picked off Mike McMahon's pass with 7:37 left, setting up a 10-yard TD run by Taylor. Sapp also caused Gaylor's fumble with a solid hit.

"The defense is coming good," Baxter said. "I can't wait until we get all the pieces back together. It's going to be something scary."

The Lions took the opening kickoff and made one first down before punting to rookie B.J. Sams, who took the kick 89 yards for a touchdown. But the play was called back because Baltimore's Musa Smith ran into punter Nick Harris.

Harrington then completed a 27-yard pass to Charles Rogers and a 12-yarder to Williams, setting up a 43-yard field goal by Hanson.

Boller failed to move the Ravens on their first possession, but went 4-for-5 for 55 yards on his next series, the lone miss a drop by Kevin Johnson. The drive ended with Matt Stover kicking a 41-yard field goal.

Hanson gave Detroit a 6-3 lead with a 37-yard field goal with 4:45 left in the half. ^Notes:@ Baltimore WR Devard Darling aggravated a leg injury during pregame warmups and did not play. ... The Lions conclude the preseason Thursday against Buffalo; the Ravens finish up against the New York Giants on Thursday.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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