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Stover's 52-yard field goal sinks Browns

Sep 24, 2006 - 11:39 PM CLEVELAND (Ticker) -- The Cleveland Browns missed an opportunity to bury the Baltimore Ravens. Matt Stover didn't miss his chance.

Stover drilled a 52-yard field goal with 20 seconds to play, lifting the Ravens to a come-from-behind 15-14 win over the Browns in a battle of AFC North rivals.

It was Stover's third field goal of the game and his 29th in a row without a miss, keeping Baltimore (3-0) unbeaten and Cleveland (0-3) winless.

"I knew that I had to shoot it out a little bit lower than a 40-yarder, and I did that if you look at the type of kick it was," Stover said. "It wasn't very high. I knew that I had to cut through the wind, too. So I hit a knockdown seven (iron shot)."

Despite the length of the winning attempt, Ravens coach Brian Billick liked the chances of his 38-year-old kicker.

"Who else would you rather have doing it?" Billick asked "He is the only kicker I know as a head coach and he has bailed me out more times than I care to count."

A costly mistake by the Browns gave the Ravens the chance to eke out the win. Second-year quarterback Charlie Frye, playing the best game of his career, tried to connect with Braylon Edwards but was intercepted in the end zone by cornerback Chris McAlister 3:21 to play.

"I thought we were protected on the backside and obviously we weren't, said Frye, who was hit by linebacker Bart Scott just before he released the ball. "I was trying to put the ball where if Braylon can't get it, no one can get it. It is a quick drop and we kept the tight end in for protection. We just have to go out and execute the play."

The turnover put the ball into the hands of Ravens quarterback Steve McNair and he guided his team to the Browns 33 with 33 seconds to go before throwing a pair of incompletions, bringing on Stover, whose last miss came on October 31, 2005, at Pittsburgh.

"(The right hash) is where I was telling (offensive coordinator) Jim Fassel to get me going down because there was a diagonal wind that way and that was the strength of my kick," Stover said. "And it ended up being money, right down the middle."

"This is what life in the NFL is all about," Billick said.

McNair was 23-of-41 for 264 yards, hitting former Tennessee Titans teammate Derrick Mason seven times for 132 yards.

Frye, who threw for 298 yards and a 58-yard touchdown to Edwards, masterfully guided the Browns on a long clock-eating drive prior to the turnover, moving 76 yards in 10 plays to set up a 1st-and-goal at the Ravens 4.

The Browns ate up 7:01 on the drive, with Frye connected with tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. three times for 44 yards, all on third down. Winslow finished with seven catches for 92 yards.

Although a field goal would have forced the Ravens to score a touchdown, Frye went for six points instead and was picked off by cornerback Chris McAlister.

"We got pressure on the quarterback and I was in the right position to make a play, McAlister said. "At the goal line is the easiest place for a DB to play man coverage because there isn't that much room to work with."

Still, the Browns were not about to second-guess their decision to throw the ball.

"It was a great play call, said Edwards, who had five catches for 116 yards. "We knew they were going to anticipate the run, and if Charlie doesn't get hit it's a touchdown."

"I thought we got a little better today," Cleveland coach Romeo Crennel said. "The team made a step forward."

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