Bills
Ravens
7 - 19 Final
  for this game

Ravens clinch first-round bye with win over Bills

Jan 1, 2007 - 3:20 AM BALTIMORE (Ticker) -- Another strong defensive performance and the leg of Matt Stover enabled the Baltimore Ravens to clinch a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Cornerback Chris McAlister returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown and Stover kicked four field goals as the Ravens posted a 19-7 victory over the Buffalo Bills.

The win was the fourth in a row and ninth in 10 games for the Ravens (13-3), who set a single-season franchise record for victories and will host a playoff game on January 13 or 14.

The Bills (7-9) closed the season with two straight losses, but finished with two more wins than last season under first-year coach Dick Jauron.

Baltimore lost a chance for homefield advantage throughout the playoffs when San Diego (14-2) beat Arizona on Sunday. But the Ravens sealed a bye, which means they just have to win two games to reach Super Bowl XLI in Miami.

"Coming into the game, it was at the top of our agenda to get that victory so we can get the week off," said McAlister, who recorded his career-high sixth interception. "A lot of people can really use the rest. We can rest up a couple of guys we have that didn't suit up today."

One of those guys that didn't suit up was Pro Bowl left tackle Jonathan Ogden, who has been bothered by turf toe.

Baltimore's strength is a defense which yielded a league-low 201 points this season, an average of 12.6 per game.

"Now someone has to come in here and play us," said Ravens defensive tackle Trevor Pryce, who recorded his team-leading 13th sack of the season.

The Ravens forced three turnovers, including two interceptions of J.P. Losman, and held 1,000-yard rusher Willis McGahee to 23 yards on 11 carries.

"We tried to stay with the run game enough to not totally abandon it, because it's hard when you become one-dimensional against all that talent," Jauron said.

Baltimore's offense failed to get into the end zone, but Steve McNair effectively moved the chains, completing 23-of-35 passes for 216 yards with an interception.

"When you have the No. 1 defense in football, when you have Steve McNair, we're going to be a hard team to beat in the playoffs," Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis said.

Stover kicked a 26-yard field goal in the first quarter and a 37-yarder in the second quarter to stake the Ravens to a 6-0 halftime lead.

On the Bills' first possession of the second half, McGahee fumbled after being hit by Lewis and defensive tackle Kelly Gregg recovered for the Ravens at the Buffalo 25.

Four plays later, Stover kicked a 39-yard field goal to increase the lead to 9-0 with 12:28 left in the third quarter.

Losman connected with Lee Evans on a 44-yard touchdown pass with 8:08 remaining in the third quarter to pull the Bills within 9-7. Evans finished with seven receptions for 145 yards.

"We just called the pump to Lee and the protection held up extremely well on that play, and he was so wide open," said Losman, who was 20-of-35 for 237 yards with two interceptions.

But on Buffalo's next possession, McAlister picked off a pass by Losman and returned it 31 yards for a score with 3:46 left in the third quarter. The Pro Bowl cornerback stepped in front of Peerless Price, reached high to grab the pass and raced down the left sideline.

"They ran a lot of short routes and we made adjustments," McAlister said. "I had a chance for go for it and I got it. The interception came at a great time for us."

It marked the fifth time this season the Ravens have returned an interception for a touchdown.

Stover kicked his fourth field goal of the game - a 29-yarder with 4:48 left in the fourth quarter.

Cornerback Samari Rolle picked off a pass in the end zone with just over two minutes left to seal the win.

"We treated it like a playoff game," Rolle said. "If we lost, we'd have had to play next week, and there was a lot of pressure on us, and we answered the call."








  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0 7 0 7
    BALTIMORE 3 3 10 3 19 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: BAL - FG, MATT STOVER 26 YD, 7:52. Drive: 13
    plays, 55 yards in 7:52. Key plays:
    McNair 10-yard pass to Mason to
    Buffalo 42; McNair 13-yard run to
    Buffalo 29; McNair 8-yard pass to
    Mason on

    Dec 31 7:06 PM


  • NFL
    FG BAL
    MATT STOVER 29 YD
    BUFFALO 7
    BALTIMORE 19 4:48 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Bills vs. RavensDec 31 6:54 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0 7 7
    BALTIMORE 3 3 10 16 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: BAL - FG, MATT STOVER 26 YD, 7:52. Drive: 13
    plays, 55 yards in 7:52. Key plays:
    McNair 10-yard pass to Mason to
    Buffalo 42; McNair 13-yard run to
    Buffalo 29; McNair 8-yard pass to
    Ma

    Dec 31 6:28 PM


  • NFL
    TD BAL
    CHRIS MCALISTER 31 YD INTERCEPTION RETURN
    (MATT STOVER KICK)
    BUFFALO 7
    BALTIMORE 16 3:46 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Bills vs. RavensDec 31 6:21 PM


  • NFL
    TD BUF
    LEE EVANS 44 YD PASS FROM J.P. LOSMAN
    (RIAN LINDELL KICK)
    BUFFALO 7
    BALTIMORE 9 8:08 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Bills vs. RavensDec 31 6:00 PM


  • NFL
    FG BAL
    MATT STOVER 39 YD
    BUFFALO 0
    BALTIMORE 9 12:28 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Bills vs. RavensDec 31 5:50 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0 0
    BALTIMORE 3 3 6 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: BAL - FG, MATT STOVER 26 YD, 7:52. Drive: 13
    plays, 55 yards in 7:52. Key plays:
    McNair 10-yard pass to Mason to
    Buffalo 42; McNair 13-yard run to
    Buffalo 29; McNair 8-yard pass to
    Mason

    Dec 31 5:28 PM


  • NFL
    FG BAL
    MATT STOVER 37 YD
    BUFFALO 0
    BALTIMORE 6 1:32 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Bills vs. RavensDec 31 5:14 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    BUFFALO 0 0
    BALTIMORE 3 3 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: BAL - FG, MATT STOVER 26 YD, 7:52. Drive: 13
    plays, 55 yards in 7:52. Key plays:
    McNair 10-yard pass to Mason to
    Buffalo 42; McNair 13-yard run to
    Buffalo 29; McNair 8-yard pass to
    Ma

    Dec 31 4:42 PM


  • NFL
    FG BAL
    MATT STOVER 26 YD
    BUFFALO 0
    BALTIMORE 3 7:08 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Bills vs. RavensDec 31 4:27 PM