Browns
Ravens
17 - 27 Final
  for this game

Ravens clinch playoff berth with win over Browns

Dec 18, 2006 - 4:29 AM BALTIMORE (Ticker) -- Steve McNair didn't get to finish what he started. But Kyle Boller came off the bench and helped the Baltimore Ravens clinch a playoff berth.

Relegated to the role of backup after McNair was acquired in the offseason, Boller threw for a pair of touchdowns, including a go-ahead 77-yard bomb to rookie Demetrius Williams, to lead the Ravens to a 27-17 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

The win sealed at least a wild-card spot for the Ravens (11-3), who can clinch their first division title since 2003 if the Cincinnati Bengals (8-5) lose at Indianapolis on Monday.

"Beautiful day, making the playoffs," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "That's step one. It's significant when you do it with your backup quarterback. It shows the depth of this team."

Baltimore trails San Diego (12-2) by one game in the battle for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

"We're still in the battle to try and get home field and let the playoffs go through Baltimore, so hopefully we can keep chugging along," Ravens linebacker Bart Scott said.

McNair injured his right hand after being stepped on by linebacker Andra Davis with 9:25 left in the first quarter. But Boller stepped in, passed for 238 yards and directed five scoring drives.

Boller started 34 games for the Ravens from 2003-05 after being selected in the first round, but his inconsistent play prompted the Ravens to acquire McNair from Tennessee last June.

"Steve helped me," Boller said. "The main thing is that Steve is a very calm, cool, collected guy and that's what he tells me, 'Just be calm, go through your reads, don't force things down field.' Sure enough we got it in the second half and Demetrius made a big play."

Quarterback Derek Anderson, a sixth-round pick of the Ravens in 2005 who was claimed off waivers by Cleveland, started his second straight game and rallied the Browns from a 17-3 deficit. He hit Joe Jurevicius with a three-yard touchdown with 54 seconds left in the first half and connected with Braylon Edwards on a 14-yard scoring play with 6:29 remaining in the third quarter to tie the game.

However, just 1:05 later, Boller lofted a 77-yard touchdown pass to Williams, who raced past safety Sean Jones.

Matt Stover added a 22-yard field goal with 2:53 left in the fourth quarter to seal the win.

Jamal Lewis rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown for the Ravens, raising his season total to 986 yards.

Baltimore, which ranks first overall in defense, recorded six sacks, two interceptions and stopped all 11 of the Browns' third-down conversion attempts.

"I think it all has to do with (defensive coordinator) Rex (Ryan) putting us all in a position to make a play," said Ravens defensive tackle Trevor Pryce, who had two sacks.

Rookie Dawan Landry came up with the first big turnover for the Ravens, picking off a pass by Anderson and returning it 37 yards to the Cleveland 16.

"We were in cover-2, and Samari (Rolle) got a good jam on his guy, and disrupted his route," Landry said. "I was just in the right place at the right time."

Two plays later, Lewis scored on a seven-yard run with 6:39 left in the first quarter, giving the Ravens a 7-3 lead.

Boller directed an 11-play, 85-yard drive which he capped with a nine-yard scoring toss to fullback Ovie Mughelli 46 seconds into the second quarter. Boller connected with tight end Todd Heap on a 19-yard pass and Mike Anderson broke off a 19-yard run to highlight the drive.

Williams caught a 23-yard pass to set up a 38-yard field goal by Stover with 2:39 left in the second quarter, increasing the lead to 17-3.

But Anderson rallied the Browns against the vaunted Ravens' defense, directing touchdown drives of 70 and 84 yards. He completed 6-of-6 passes for 65 yards in the first one, capping it with a scoring toss to Jurevicius.

Then Anderson was 4-for-4 for 52 yards on Cleveland's second possession of the second half. He connected with Kellen Winslow on a 15-yard pass and hit Jurevicius with an 18-yard pass to highlight the drive. Jason Wright had runs of 12 and 18 yards before Anderson fired a game-tying 14-yard touchdown to Edwards.

"I saw the field real well," said Anderson, who at one time completed 13 straight passes and finished 23-of-32 for 223 yards. "I made pretty good decisions for the most part. They just got me a couple of times."

On Baltimore's next possession, Boller faced a 3rd-and-10 when he lofted a deep pass over the middle to Williams, who made the catch in stride at the Cleveland 20, cut to his left and dove into the end zone.

"I just wanted to throw it up there nice and high for him (Williams), let him run underneath him," Boller said. "He made a great play and got the ball in the end zone."

"I made the read to go to the middle of the field," Williams said. "Kyle just made a great throw so I had an obligation to catch the ball."

A 42-yard pass from Boller to Mark Clayton set up Stover's 22-yard field goal with 2:53 remaining.

It does not appear that McNair's injury will keep him out of next week's game at Pittsburgh.

"He (McNair) was having a tough time taking a snap," Billick said of McNair. "He felt like he could throw. But it was the center-quarterback exchange I was concerned about. He should be ready to play next week, but we'll see."








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CLEVELAND 3 7 7 0 17
    BALTIMORE 7 10 7 3 27 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CLE - FG, PHIL DAWSON 51 YD, 5:17. Drive: 6
    plays, 43 yards in 3:38. Key plays:
    Anderson 36-yard pass to Winslow to
    Baltimore 40. CLEVELAND 3-0
    BAL - TD, JAMAL LEWIS 7 YD RUN (MATT STOVER
    KICK

    Dec 17 4:04 PM


  • NFL
    FG BAL
    MATT STOVER 22 YD
    CLEVELAND 17
    BALTIMORE 27 2:53 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Browns vs. RavensDec 17 3:53 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 4 roots

    Browns vs. RavensDec 17 3:53 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 3 roots

    Browns vs. RavensDec 17 3:44 PM
  • 0
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 1 roots

    Browns vs. RavensDec 17 3:41 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CLEVELAND 3 7 7 17
    BALTIMORE 7 10 7 24 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CLE - FG, PHIL DAWSON 51 YD, 5:17. Drive: 6
    plays, 43 yards in 3:38. Key plays:
    Anderson 36-yard pass to Winslow to
    Baltimore 40. CLEVELAND 3-0
    BAL - TD, JAMAL LEWIS 7 YD RUN (MATT STOVE

    Dec 17 3:19 PM


  • NFL
    TD BAL
    DEMETRIUS WILLIAMS 77 YD PASS FROM KYLE BOLLER
    (MATT STOVER KICK)
    CLEVELAND 17
    BALTIMORE 24 5:24 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Browns vs. RavensDec 17 3:10 PM


  • NFL
    TD CLE
    BRAYLON EDWARDS 14 YD PASS FROM DEREK ANDERSON
    (PHIL DAWSON KICK)
    CLEVELAND 17
    BALTIMORE 17 6:29 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Browns vs. RavensDec 17 3:01 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CLEVELAND 3 7 10
    BALTIMORE 7 10 17 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CLE - FG, PHIL DAWSON 51 YD, 5:17. Drive: 6
    plays, 43 yards in 3:38. Key plays:
    Anderson 36-yard pass to Winslow to
    Baltimore 40. CLEVELAND 3-0
    BAL - TD, JAMAL LEWIS 7 YD RUN (MATT STOVER
    K

    Dec 17 2:28 PM


  • NFL
    TD CLE
    JOE JUREVICIUS 3 YD PASS FROM DEREK ANDERSON
    (PHIL DAWSON KICK)
    CLEVELAND 10
    BALTIMORE 17 0:54 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Browns vs. RavensDec 17 2:24 PM


  • NFL
    FG BAL
    MATT STOVER 38 YD
    CLEVELAND 3
    BALTIMORE 17 2:39 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Browns vs. RavensDec 17 2:12 PM


  • NFL
    TD BAL
    OVIE MUGHELLI 9 YD PASS FROM KYLE BOLLER
    (MATT STOVER KICK)
    CLEVELAND 3
    BALTIMORE 14 14:14 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Browns vs. RavensDec 17 1:43 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CLEVELAND 3 3
    BALTIMORE 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: CLE - FG, PHIL DAWSON 51 YD, 5:17. Drive: 6
    plays, 43 yards in 3:38. Key plays:
    Anderson 36-yard pass to Winslow to
    Baltimore 40. CLEVELAND 3-0
    BAL - TD, JAMAL LEWIS 7 YD RUN (MATT STOVE

    Dec 17 1:39 PM


  • NFL
    TD BAL
    JAMAL LEWIS 7 YD RUN
    (MATT STOVER KICK)
    CLEVELAND 3
    BALTIMORE 7 6:39 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Browns vs. RavensDec 17 1:23 PM


  • NFL
    FG CLE
    PHIL DAWSON 51 YD
    CLEVELAND 3
    BALTIMORE 0 9:43 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Browns vs. RavensDec 17 1:11 PM