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Old 10-26-2005, 09:41 AM   #1
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Default Baltimore IS getting WORSE!! Billick Who?

(Sports Network) - Baltimore was beaten at its own game on Sunday, as the Chicago Bears used a stifling defense and a smash-mouth offensive attack to win 10-6 and drop the Ravens two games below .500.

Baltimore, which dropped its sixth consecutive road tilt, did not help itself any, as it committed 11 penalties for 100 yards. Both of the Bears' scoring drives were kept alive thanks to flags on the Ravens.

"Huge, huge," Ravens coach Brian Billick said, when asked of the flags' impact. "Turnovers and penalties at the wrong time will stop any drive or continue any drive."

On the Bears' touchdown march, Dale Carter was called for a defensive holding penalty on a 3rd-and-8 which was incomplete. The flag resulted in an automatic first down, and Chicago hit paydirt five plays later when Kyle Orton connected with Marc Edwards from nine-yards out for the first points of the game.

"We've got to figure out how to stop getting penalties and stop killing ourselves," said quarterback Anthony Wright, who was sacked four times and completed 18-of-32 passes for 164 yards. "We've been killing ourselves for the last four losses. Until we stop doing that, it's going to continue to be tough for us."

Then, trailing by a point midway through the third quarter, Terrell Suggs received a roughing the passer penalty, again on a 3rd-and-8 pass attempt that was incomplete. The Bears managed a field goal on the drive and went ahead by four points.

Baltimore did not get past the Chicago 49 after that.

"Before every team achieves greatness, they have to go through a time of humility," said Suggs. "I think this right now is our time. We've just, all- around, got to play better in all stages of the game."

The Ravens struggled on offense, as running back Jamal Lewis was held to just 34 yards on 15 carries and has still yet to go over 100 yards this season. As a team, Baltimore managed just 199 total yards.

"They did mostly what every other defense does to us," Lewis said. "Play backside so the cutback's not there and kind of stalemate up on the front side, so it forces you to cut it back and somebody's right there waiting."

Defensively, the Ravens were not much better, as they allowed Thomas Jones to run for 139 yards on 25 carries.

At 2-4, Baltimore is off to its worst start since 1999, when it began the year 2-5. That Ravens team managed to win six of their final nine games to finish at .500.


As if things were not bad enough in Baltimore, Ray Lewis aggravated a thigh injury during Sunday's loss and could miss this week's game against Pittsburgh on Monday night.

"It's a possibility," said Baltimore head coach Brian Billick on if Lewis and safety Ed Reed would miss the game.

Lewis, who has missed just 12 games in his career due to injury, entered Sunday's game with a problem in the same hamstring, just higher up. This injury is lower in the hamstring and according to Billick much more treatable.

"We have an extra day," said Billick. "We'll see where we are as we go."

If Lewis can't go, outside linebacker Tommy Polley would move inside and Bart Scott would start in Polley's position.

Reed also missed Sunday's game at Chicago with a high ankle sprain, an injury he suffered in Week 6.

"Everybody deals with injuries, to varying degrees at different times," said Billick. We've been there before. The next guy steps up and that's the mentality."

Fullback Alan Ricard also injured his calf, but it was not the leg that has bothered him all season.

On the positive injury front, Ravens' wide receiver Mark Clayton may be back on the field versus the Steelers after missing the last game with an ankle injury.

"His is probably the best shot," said Billick. "(With) the injury, the soreness where it is, there is a pretty decent chance (he'll play). I'll have to wait until the end of the week (to know for sure)."

"The only thing I know to do when you're a 2-4 football team is you go back to work and you work your way through it," Billick said. "That's what is left of this team right now. What the rest of the year holds for us, we'll find out. But this team will stay together and it will work."


Ravens tight end Todd Heap hauled in seven catches for 71 yards and had a reception of over 20 yards for the fifth consecutive game. Over his last two games he has 13 receptions for 150 yards with a score.


Jamal Lewis has struggled through the first six games, rushing 113 times for only 326 yards. His 100-yard drought is also the longest of his career.


Things don't get any easier for the Ravens this week, as they head to Pittsburgh to battle the Steelers in a Monday Night Football clash. Baltimore, which will host Green Bay on MNF later in the season, split its two meetings with the Steelers last season, but has dropped six of the last eight in the series.
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