Browns bottle up Lewis

CLEVELAND - Jamal Lewis didn't hit the trifecta against the Cleveland Browns.<br><br> During the Baltimore Ravens' surprising 20-3 loss Sunday to a team picked to finish last in the AFC North, Lewis never got into the running groove he hit twice last season.

Lewis rushed for 500 yards last season against the Browns, including a NFL single-game record 295 yards. This time, the reigning NFL Offensive Player of the Year gained only 57 yards on 20 carries for his lowest total in seven games against the Browns.

"Of course, they weren't going to let us come in and do what we did last time," Lewis said. "We just didn't have the big runs like before. They played good defense."

It wasn't quite what Browns defensive end Kenard Lang predicted when he said Lewis wouldn't cross the front line, but his impact was definitely muted considerably.

Lewis averaged 2.9 yards per carry after going for 9.6 a pop last season against Cleveland. His long run was nine yards, delivering his roughest hit when he ran over safety Robert Griffith.

As the Ravens fell behind and were forced to throw even more, albeit with extremely limited success by quarterback Kyle Boller, Lewis became a spectator.

He carried the ball just three times in the fourth quarter, but didn't complain about his workload.

"I believe we ran the ball effectively," Lewis said. "We ended up getting down, then things changed over. I was satisfied."

The Ravens played without All-Pro tackle Jonathan Ogden (knee) and center Mike Flynn (broken collarbone), and Ethan Brooks and Casey Rabach replaced them.

"Of course, you are going to miss little things when you don't have your starting guys out there," Lewis said. "There are still good guys out there."

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times
 


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