Lewis entered the game averaging 135 yards against the Bengals, who were
supposedly soft against the run having allowed 221 and 181 rushing yards in
losses to the Steelers and Jaguars.
Lewis was supposed to be a major part of the game plan, but the Bengals tackled better than usual and prevented him from breaking any run longer than 11 yards. Backup Chester Taylor was held to 9 yards on three carries.
"I don't even know how many carries we had or what the yardage was, but I feel we ran the ball well," said Lewis, who's off to the worst start of his career with 436 yards on 145 carries. "I think we ran the ball well every touch I had and every touch that Chester had.
"The quarterbacks ran the ball well when they got out of the pocket. So, we ran the ball well."
Because of quarterbacks Anthony Wright and Kordell Stewart combining for 66 yards on six carries, Lewis technically is correct as Baltimore gained 124 yards on 24 carries.
However, the running game stalled markedly inside the Bengals' 20 as Baltimore scored no touchdowns in four red-zone trips.
"I thought we would do much better than we did," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "I'll have to look at the film to see what we run, how we ran it across the board and see why we did not run the ball better."
Lewis averaged only 3.3 yards per carry in yet another rough outing for the 2003 NFL Offensive Player of the Year.
"We didn't make up any special recipes or do any witchcraft before the game," Bengals linebacker Brian Simmons said. "Guys just played team ball."
TRAINING ROOM: Nickel back Dale Carter (hamstring) and safety B.J. Ward (groin strain) left the game and didn't return.
Quarterback Anthony Wright sprained his ankle, but missed one series. Defensive end Jarret Johnson bruised his knee.
Wide receiver Mark Clayton (ankle) and defensive end Tony Weaver (toe) returned to the lineup from injuries.
"It felt all right," said Weaver, who was credited with one tackle. "I think my wind was affected some by being out the last couple weeks, but I'm getting better."
QUICK HITS: Tight end Todd Heap became the leading receiver in Ravens history with 205 catches to surpass former receiver Travis Taylor. … Wide receiver Derrick Mason caught his 500th pass, finishing with five catches for 60 yards. "Personal records are great, but what it boils down to is the team concept," Mason said. "If the 500th catch would have translated into a win, it would have felt a lot better." ... Carson Palmer's 248 passing yards makes him only the second quarterback this season to exceed 200 yards against the Ravens' second-ranked pass defense. He joins Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, who threw for 254 against Baltimore to open the season. … The Ravens deactivated quarterback Kyle Boller (he dressed as the third quarterback) along with safety Ed Reed (high-ankle sprain), linebacker Ray Lewis (thigh), center Jason Brown, offensive tackle Adam Terry, wide receivers Devard Darling and Clarence Moore and tight end Terry Jones. … Billick reaffirmed in a radio interview that Ray Lewis will not return until the first week of December at the soonest. Lewis has missed the last two games and might not be available until the Ravens' Dec. 4 game against the Houston Texans. ... Reed and Boller may be healthy enough to return in the next few weeks.
In addition to being a long time contributor to RavensInsider, Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times in Westminster Maryland.
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