Ravens get even with Frye at the end

CLEVELAND -- Charlie Frye was masterful and poised, darting precise spirals into confined areas despite being constantly battered by the Baltimore Ravens' fierce pass rush. It was as if the Cleveland Browns' youthful quarterback was immune to the punishment of seven sacks.

He just kept locating his receivers downfield, lofting passes beyond the flailing grasp of cornerbacks Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle. All of Frye's success, including completing 15 of his first 18 passes and a 58-yard touchdown to wide receiver Braylon Edwards behind Rolle, didn't prevent the Ravens from earning a 15-14 victory Sunday. McAlister intercepted Frye, who was blindsided on the play by linebacker Bart Scott while trying to throw to Edwards, in the end zone with 3:28 remaining in the fourth quarter.

That critical turnover led to the Ravens' game-winning drive that was capped by kicker Matt Stover's 52-yard field goal. "He's going to be a good one," Scott said of Frye, who completed 21 of 33 passes for a career-high 298 yards and a 90.2 passer rating. "He got caught trying to make a play. Chris is a Pro Bowl corner, and he made the play when we needed it the most." For a while, it seemed as if Frye was a veteran quarterback, not a second-year player from Akron in his eighth career start. His touchdown pass to Edwards marked the first touchdown allowed this season by the Ravens (3-0), which entered the game with the NFL's top-ranked defense heading into this game against Cleveland (0-3).

Later, Frye engineered a methodical 11-play, 74-yard scoring drive. After McAlister was flagged for pass interference for shoving Edwards in the corner of the end zone, Frye burst in for a touchdown on the ensuing play. Frye also completed seven passes to outspoken tight end Kellen Winslow for a career-high 92 yards. His mobility was a definite factor. "His ability to make plays running around is what we were concerned about," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "He made a lot of them, but fortunately we were able to make one more at a critical time."

Frye defeated Baltimore 20-16 to conclude last season, leading three scoring drives and throwing a touchdown pass. "He's a good young quarterback, and he gives us problems," Rolle said. "He's got a good thing going on." Ultimately, the punishment doled out by Scott (two sacks), nose guard Kelly Gregg (1 ½ sacks), defensive end Trevor Pryce (1 ½ sacks) and one sack apiece from linebackers Adalius Thomas and Terrell Suggs was enough to make the difference. "The front seven did a great job getting pressure on the quarterback," McAlister said. "Nobody got down on each other. We all believed in each other."

TRAINING ROOM: Suggs left the game with an injured right hamstring, the lone injury the Ravens reported. He declined to go into detail about his condition or speculate about how long he might be out. "I don't know exactly what it is yet," Suggs said.

FINED: McAlister was fined $15,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct toward referee Jeff Bergman following a pass-interference penalty in last week's win over the Oakland Raiders, an NFL spokesman confirmed in an e-mail Sunday night. Teammates had to restrain McAlister from going after Bergman.

QUICK HITS: Edwards caught five passes for 116 yards, averaging 23.2 yards per reception. "He had a fabulous game, we can't take that away from him," McAlister said. … Wide receiver Mark Clayton set a career-high with eight receptions. … Wide receiver Derrick Mason registered the 15th 100-yard receiving day of his career with 132 yards on seven receptions. … Mason's 38-yard catch from quarterback Steve McNair in the third quarter marked the Ravens' longest offensive play of the season. It surpassed a 37-yarder to Mason in the first quarter, and tight end Daniel Wilcox's 35-yard catch at Tampa Bay. …The Ravens deactivated cornerbacks David Pittman and Derrick Martin, running backs P. J. Daniels and Cory Ross, linebacker Dan Cody, wide receivers Devard Darling and Clarence Moore along with defensive tackle Dwan Edwards. … The Browns were playing without four starters: cornerback Gary Baxter, running back Reuben Droughns, defensive end Orpheus Roye and wide receiver Joe Jurevicius. … Billick was asked if the Ravens, who sport a two-game winning streak away from M&T Bank Stadium, are emerging as road warriors. "I don't know about that," he said. "We are 2-0 on the road in the NFL, and that is a good place to be."

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times in Westminster, Maryland.

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