Ravens - Bills: 5 reasons for the outcome

1. The Baltimore Ravens manufactured a 20-6 victory Sunday over the Buffalo Bills, one built on a defense that harassed quarterback Drew Bledsoe for four sacks and four interceptions.

First, 37-year-old nickel back Deion Sanders returned a pass deflected by Chad Williams 48 yards for a touchdown before delivering his patented end-zone dance routine. One quarter later, defensive end Tony Weaver sacked Bledsoe.

By the third quarter, Bledsoe was fumbling as outside linebacker Terrell Suggs slammed him to the turf.

In the fourth quarter, Sanders made Bledsoe pay once again with an interception in the end zone on 3rd-and-8 at the Baltimore 19. The defense wasn't done with the 12-year veteran, though. Another Bledsoe pass meant for Evans on a 3rd-and-goal was tipped by linebacker Ray Lewis and Williams dashed 93 yards before running out of energy. Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed exploited Bledsoe for his third interception of the season.

2. The offense overcame an early fumble by quarterback Kyle Boller, the fourth one he's lost this year, to play a solid, unspectacular game without Pro Bowl runner Jamal Lewis and Pro Bowl tight end Todd Heap. Boller completed his first eight passes, but only two of his next 11 attempts for 7 yards as his lack of field awareness was glaring.

Despite the last-ranked passing game in the NFL with an 86-yard outing, no touchdowns and no completions after the first half, the offense found a way to move the football. In relief of Lewis, who's serving a two-game suspension for violating the NFL substance-abuse policy, Chester Taylor rushed for a career-high 89 yards on 21 carries.

And rookie return specialist B.J. Sams ran a sweep play in five yards for his first rushing touchdown.

3. Inside the red zone and in other key situations, the Ravens were particularly stingy. Buffalo was 0-for-4 in the red zone, 0-for-3 inside the 10-yard line. Plus, the Ravens limited Buffalo to 5-of-15 on third-down conversions.

4. Bills receiver Eric Moulds totaled six catches for 96 yards, but truly didn't have a good game. He dropped two potential touchdown passes.

5. The Ravens bottled up running back Willis McGahee for 58 yards on 16 carries, a 3.6 average, one game after he rushed for 111 yards against a tough Miami Dolphins defense.

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times and ravensinsider.com


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