J. Lewis eclipses century mark in loss

CINCINNATI --- Jamal Lewis finally proved his point, albeit in a losing cause. In the midst of his worst season ever, the Baltimore Ravens' running back insisted last week that his lack of production was caused by a lack of carries and that he could pile up yards if given the football 20 or more times.

Although Lewis gained a season-high 113 yards on 23 carries and ran for a touchdown, it didn't affect the outcome.

After falling behind 34-0 as Lewis was held to 37 yards on his first 14 carries, the Ravens absorbed a 42-29 defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals.

"I was able to stay in the game and get a feel for the defense," Lewis said. "The offensive line had the ability to get a rhythm going. Even when we were down we didn't get away from the run. Coach [Brian] Billick said we were going to run the ball and he stuck to that."

Two seasons removed from a 2,066-yard campaign, this was the first time Lewis eclipsed the century mark this season.

Typically, Lewis running for 100 yards spells a win as Baltimore had an all-time mark of 20-6 mark when he hits that number. Not this time, though.

"Just because Jamal Lewis doesn't rush for 100 yards doesn't mean we lose," Lewis said. "I ran the ball 23 times and we still lost, so what excuse is next for you all? I am not a numbers guy. It is about winning the football game, and we didn't go out and do that."

Backup Chester Taylor was unexpectedly deactivated with a foot injury after being listed as questionable with an ankle injury. The Ravens had planned to increase Taylor's playing time.

"He didn't practice all week basically and we were hoping by game-time he would be OK, but it just wasn't good enough to go," Billick said.

With nine carries for 76 yards in the second half, this was easily Lewis' best showing in a year marred by a stint in jail for a drug crime and surgery on his right ankle.

"Jamal came out aggressive, breaking a lot of tackles even when they moved up the safety and an extra linebacker," center Mike Flynn said. "You see him running hard and you feel that wind running through the tunnel. It was good to see that."

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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