Ravens Escape With Win

The Ravens almost were the Browns first victim this season, but the steady presence of Steve McNair - as well as second-half offensive ineptitude by the Browns - allowed the Ravens to escape with a last-second 15-14 victory. Fred Greetham has the story.

CLEVELAND — The Browns came within 20 seconds of winning their first game of the season. However, they're still 0-3 as former Brown Matt Stover kicked a 52-yard field goal to give the Ravens a 15-14 win.

It was Stover's third field goal of the game and it deflated the Browns who controlled most of the game.

After an explosive first half—at least for the Browns--, they went conservative much of the second half and couldn't hang on to the 14-3 lead they had built in the first half.

After Stover hit a 32-yard field goal to open the scoring, the Browns scored the next 14 points.

When Charlie Frye was able to stay on his feet, he proved he could be very effective. He was 15-of-18 for 210 yards in the first half, including a rushing touchdown and a passing touchdown.

Despite getting sacked on the first play of the game and five times in the first half, Frye got up dusted himself off and hooked up with Braylon Edwards for a 58-yard touchdown score to give the Browns a 7-3 lead.

Edwards ran right by Samari Rolle and Frye hit him in stride for the touchdown. It was quick. One play, 58 yards covering eight seconds. Edwards tight-roped down the side line for the score. It was the first touchdown the Ravens had given up this season.

The Browns came right back just before the half and scored their second touchdown of the game with Frye taking it in from the one to make it 14-3. The score was set up on a pass interference penalty on Chris McAlister in the end zone on Edwards. Kellen Winslow had three receptions for 37 yards on the drive. The Browns went 74 yards on 11 plays for the score.

The Ravens were driving in the third quarter and decided to go for it on fourth-and-one from the Browns' 30. Matt Stewart knifed in and dropped Jamal Lewis for a loss of one and the Browns took over at the 31 with 4:25 to play.

Probably the turning point in the game was with the Browns leading 14-3 late in the third quarter, the Browns seemingly had a chance to put the game away, but Sean Jones dropped a pass right in his hands on a pass from Steve McNair that most likely would've been returned for a touchdown. There was no one in front of him.

Given a second chance, the Ravens responded with a score to make it 14-9 on a three-yard pass from McNair to tight end Todd Heap on the first play of the fourth quarter. The Ravens went for the two-point conversion and D'Qwell Jackson batted down the pass in the end zone that was intended for Heap.

The Ravens scored again on their next possession as Stover kicked his second field goal of the game to make it 14-12. This one was from 43-yards out.

The Browns opened the drive after the Ravens cut the score to 14-12 with a 29-yard screen pass to rookie Lawrence Vickers. On third-and-long, Frye scrambled and hit Winslow for 21 yards to keep the drive going to the Ravens' 34. Again, on third down, Winslow caught his sixth pass from Frye and stretched for the first down to the Ravens' 24. Winslow caught the ball on the third consecutive third down for a first down to the Ravens' four.

However, Chris McAlister stepped in front of Edwards and intercepted the ball in the end zone with 3:21 to play and the Ravens took over on the 20.

Rejuvenated after the stopping the Browns, the Ravens moved to the Browns' 33. Facing third-and-3 with 29 seconds to play, McNair threw the ball away and put the game on Stover's shoulders and the 38-year old delivered. The Ravens went 12 plays and 47 yards for the winning drive.


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