Five keys to the game

CLEVELAND -- A look inside the Baltimore Ravens' win over the Cleveland Browns: 1. The Baltimore Ravens overcame a 14-3 deficit and claimed a 15-14 victory Sunday over the Cleveland Browns in large part because of the experience and skill of veteran kicker Matt Stover.

He calmly connected on a 52-yard field goal with 20 seconds remaining to win the game. It was his 12th career game-winning kick and the longest game-winner in his 17-year career. Stover, 38, has converted a personal-best and franchise-record 29 consecutive field goal attempts. He's 36 of 39 in his career against the Browns (.923), the best success rate he owns against any NFL team with at least 15 attempts.

2. Quarterback Steve McNair, who shared MVP honors in 2003 with Peyton Manning and led his old Tennessee Titans team to a Super Bowl berth after the 1999 regular season, was erratic in the first half, skidding several of his throws along the grass. However, he more than made up for that with a clutch second half, including four consecutive completions on the Ravens' game-winning drive. He finished 23 of 41 for 264 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. McNair distributed the football and threw downfield more than he had at any point this season, hitting receivers Mark Clayton for eight catches and 74 yards and Derrick Mason for seven catches and 132 yards. He also connected with tight end Todd Heap five times.

3. Cornerback Chris McAlister intercepted his second pass of the season at a critical juncture: in the end zone while matched opposite wide receiver Braylon Edwards. Edwards had beaten cornerback Samari Rolle for a 58-yard touchdown during the first half.

4. The defense recorded seven sacks, tying for the second most in a single game in franchise history. Nine sacks in 1997 against the Philadelphia Eagles represents the Ravens' career-high.

5. Although Ravens coach Brian Billick stressed not underestimating the team's accomplishment, it's worth pointing out that the winless Browns (0-3) were without four starters, including running back Reuben Droughns and were forced to play such, ahem, luminaries like Jason Wright in Droughns' place, Daven Holly for injured cornerback Gary Baxter and Ethan Kelley for sidelined defensive end Orpheus Roye.

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

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