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Ravens stave off Browns comeback

©Associated Press
October 7, 2002

CLEVELAND -- The Browns needed to get Ray Lewis out of the game before mounting a late comeback.

For the second time in six days, Lewis turned a national TV game into his own prime-time special for three quarters as the Ravens built a big lead and held on to win 26-21 Sunday night.

Lewis, an All-Pro middle linebacker, had an interception, forced a fumble that he recovered and made four tackles before he injured his left shoulder and sat out the fourth quarter.

Cleveland trailed 23-0 at the start of the fourth but, with starting quarterback Tim Couch on the bench with a concussion, rallied behind Kelly Holcomb.

The Browns recovered an onside kick and moved to the Ravens' 17 in the final minute, but Holcomb was picked off by safety Ed Reed in the end zone.

Brandon Stokley caught two touchdowns from Chris Redman as the Ravens, who looked pitiful in their first two games, moved into first place in the AFC North.

Jamal Lewis rushed for 187 yards for Baltimore, which was coming off an impressive win Monday night over previously unbeaten Denver.

Holcomb threw a 37-yard touchdown to Dennis Northcutt with 7:53 left and another to Northcutt with 58 seconds to go. Holcomb was 13-for-23 for 180 yards. Couch was 16-for-26 for 216 yards and two interceptions. Couch's status for Sunday's game against the Bucs is unknown.

On Monday night, Lewis almost beat the Broncos by himself. He earned AFC defensive player of the week after getting 20 tackles, an interception and throwing the key block on Chris McAlister's league-record 107-yard touchdown return of a missed field goal.

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