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Ravens get along fine without leader

©Associated Press
October 21, 2002

BALTIMORE -- Ray Lewis didn't make a tackle, force a fumble or have an interception. He wasn't even in uniform.

He was there for the Ravens in spirit, though, and that was good enough.

With their five-time Pro Bowl linebacker cheering and coaching from the sideline Sunday, the Ravens intercepted Mark Brunell three times and beat the Jaguars 17-10.

Chris Redman threw two touchdowns to Todd Heap and the defense did the rest as Baltimore remained in first in the AFC North.

"It's like having another coach on the field with us. We really feed off his energy," Baltimore defensive tackle Kelly Gregg said of Lewis, who has missed consecutive games because of a partly separated left shoulder.

Brunell returned from a concussion against Tennessee last week. Two of his interceptions led to Baltimore scores and the third ruined the Jaguars' bid to send the game into overtime.

"He had some limited practice time this week, but I thought he handled himself well," Jacksonville coach Tom Coughlin said. "That's a good defensive football team over there, there's no question about that."

Playing behind an offensive line devastated by injury, Brunell was 24-of-46 for 231 yards. Fred Taylor ran for 151 yards and caught eight passes for 46 yards.

The Jaguars closed to 17-10 when Hayden Epstein kicked a 22-yard field goal with 2:30 left. Jacksonville got the ball back with 2:05 left and moved to the Baltimore 25 before rookie Will Demps picked off Brunell's pass on the final play.

"They're better with Ray, obviously," Brunell said. "But they played with a lot of fire today."

Lewis' replacement at middle linebacker, Bernardo Harris, had a third-quarter interception that set up a 30-yard field goal by Matt Stover for a 10-7 lead.

The Ravens made it 17-7 late in the third when Heap caught a short pass from Redman and barreled over several Jaguars for a 20-yard score.

Jamal Lewis ran for 119 yards and Redman was 14-for-28 for 152 yards and no interceptions.

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