Five reasons for the outcome.

Aaron Wilson looks at 5 key reasons that contributed to a stunning Ravens victory yesterday.

1. Jamal Lewis' dominating performance broke the NFL single-game record for rushing with 295 yards. He intimidated Browns defenders with thunderous collisions while also sprinting away and leaping over hapless defenders. Browns defensive coordinator Dave Campo cursed as his defense rarely tackled Lewis with authority. Campo was banging the walls inside the coaches' booth as he helplessly watched Lewis run roughshod. The 5-foot-11, 243-pound Lewis' diet has improved along with his conditioning through a regimen of boxing and running hills. His body-fat percentage is in the single digits, losing 17 pounds since minicamp. His work paid off in a major way in Sunday's decisive 33-13 victory. 

2. One week after being shredded by Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Tommy Maddox, the Ravens' defensive backs gained the redemption they sought. Instead of being lit up by fade routes and plagued by mental busts, secondary coach Donnie Henderson's unit rebounded to limit Cleveland to 147 passing yards despite 37 attempts as safety Ed Reed intercepted Kelly Holcomb twice. Cleveland was held to a measly average of 2.9 yards per pass play, holding Holcomb to one touchdown pass for a quarterback rating of 43.4. Last week, Baltimore allowed Pittsburgh to convert 7-of-15 third downs. Cleveland was 4-of-16 on third downs and stymied on both fourth-down tries. Chris McAlister and Gary Baxter played much better this week. 

3. Linebacker Ray Lewis made an emphatic impact with nine fierce tackles, deflecting two passes and recovering a fumble. 

4. Ravens offensive linemen Jonathan Ogden, Edwin Mulitalo, Mike Flynn, Bennie Anderson, Casey Rabach, Ethan Brooks and Orlando Brown pushed the Browns' smallish front seven around. They used their superior bulk and strength to full advantage.Receiver Travis Taylor excelled at downfield blocking to help spring Lewis. 

5. Baltimore generated more pressure with three sacks to allow the secondary to have some breathing room. Defensive coordinator Mike Nolan made full use of his personnel, employing several four-man fronts where end/outside linebacker Adalius Thomas shifted to the interior line with nose guard Kelly Gregg moving out to end. Outside linebackers Terrell Suggs and Peter Boulware were effective at rush end. Marques Douglas was a tough assignment for the Browns' line. 

Aaron Wilson

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