Ravens 20

(2-1, 1-1 away)

Broncos 13

(2-1, 1-1 home)

Coverage: CBS

4:15 PM ET, September 30, 2001


1 2 3 4 T
BAL 3 3 7 720
DEN 10 0 3 013

Ravens rebound just in time to frustrate Broncos

DENVER (AP) -- The Denver Broncos needed four seconds to get into the end zone against the Baltimore Ravens. It turned out to be their longest touchdown drive of the game.

Elvis Grbac

Ravens quarterback Elvis Grbac has won five straight games against the Broncos.

Nine months after losing to Baltimore in the AFC playoffs, the Broncos failed to prove that their New Year's Eve flop was an aberration, losing to the Ravens 20-13 in the regular-season rematch Sunday.

The Ravens (2-1), who beat Denver 21-3 on their way to the Super Bowl title last year, limited Denver to 228 yards in total offense and forced three turnovers to rebound from a surprising loss the Cincinnati Bengals last week.

"I guarantee from here on out, if you beat the Ravens, you've beat a darn good football team," Baltimore tight end Shannon Sharpe said. "You cannot drive 85 or 90 yards and beat our defense. You can't do it."

It looked like it the Broncos (2-1) might not have to worry about long scoring drives as Brian Griese threw a 3-yard TD pass to Dwayne Carswell 20 seconds into the game. The score came four seconds after Chester McGlockton's third career interception on Baltimore's first play.

Denver's only other trip to the end zone came when the players trotted off the field. After averaging 427 yards in their first two games, the Broncos never advanced inside the 19 after their quick score.

What kind of statement did the Ravens make with this win at Mile High?
This was a huge statement. The Ravens showed they could go on the road, turn the ball over early, get down 7-0 -- and then come back to win the game. They also showed something of a running game. And Elvis Grbac stepped up and played well. Plus, the defense played its usual big game. This was a tremendous statement for the Ravens on the road, especially with the schedule they have coming up (next week it's Tennessee at home; the week after they travel to Green Bay). NFL analyst Vinny Cerrato has served as director of player personnel for the Redskins and 49ers.

"I think we talked about it all week, they really don't have any weaknesses," Denver coach Mike Shanahan said. "They have great speed, a great pass rush and they play hard too. Not to say we played our best game, but give them credit."

In typical Ravens fashion, the Baltimore defense put its offense in position for a second-half comeback.

Trailing 13-6 after Jason Elam's 49-yard field goal, the Ravens tied the game on Qadry Ismail's 20-yard touchdown catch over Denard Walker with 6:29 left in the third quarter. The score came 10 seconds after Duane Starks intercepted a pass at the Denver 24.

Elvis Grbac, who has won five straight against the Broncos, picked on Walker again for the go-ahead score, finding Travis Taylor for a 3-yard touchdown pass midway through the fourth quarter.

The Broncos drove to the Baltimore 19 on their ensuing possession before turning the ball over on downs. Their final drive also fell short when Corey Harris intercepted Griese's pass at the Ravens 27.

"It was ugly today," said Grbac, who has won five straight against Denver. "Some of my stats are pretty ugly, but a win is a win."

Grbac, forced to throw a team-record 63 times against the Bengals, completed 17-of-30 passes for 221 yards.

Griese, the NFL's top-rated quarterback entering play, was 17-of-33 for 191 yards and threw his first two interceptions of the season. Most of his completions went for short yardage, with the longest being a 31-yard pass to Rod Smith late in the fourth quarter.

"I don't think they're unbeatable," Griese said. "It's just that we have to play close to a perfect game, just like anybody else. The only way other way to beat them is to get lucky, and I don't play the game with luck. I play with skill."

Griese, who missed last year's playoff loss with a separated shoulder, was continually forced out of the pocket as he tried to compensate for a futile running game that managed only 62 yards.

Baltimore's primary success also came through the air. Taylor finished with four catches for 90 yards and Sharpe had five catches for 50 yards in his first game in Denver since leaving the Broncos after the 1999 season.

"I guess it's our arrogance to spot a team like Denver seven points," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "The thing that impresses me the most is coming through the barrage we had all week long, people writing us off. For this team to fight through that, that's championship-caliber mentality."

Playing at home for the first time since the terrorist attacks, the Broncos paid tribute to America by forming a U.S. flag with T-shirts in the stadium's upper deck. U-S-A was spelled out over three sections below the flag.

Game notes
At halftime, the Broncos inducted LB Karl Mecklenburg and S Dennis Smith as the 17th and 18th members of the team's Ring of Fame. ... Sharpe moved past Jackie Smith for second place on the career receiving list for tight ends. With 7,961 yards, he needs 20 yards to overtake Ozzie Newsome for first. ... The Broncos converted 5-of-16 third downs and are 10-for-39 on the season. ... Baltimore has not allowed a 100-yard rusher for 40 straight games. ... ... Ravens DT Tony Siragusa played with a concussion after colliding with teammate Peter Boulware in the third quarter.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Scoring Summary

Drive info: 1 plays, 3 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 1 plays, 3 yds, 0:00
Drive info: 3 plays, 24 yds, 0:39
Drive info: 3 plays, 24 yds, 0:39
balFG4:22Matt Stover 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 5 plays, 80 yds, 1:52
denFG0:27Jason Elam 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 8 plays, -35 yds, 3:37
denFG9:32Jason Elam 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 9 plays, -33 yds, 5:17
Drive info: 12 plays, 70 yds, 15:24
Drive info: 12 plays, 70 yds, 15:24
balFG10:10Matt Stover 10 yd Field Goal
Drive info: 11 plays, 83 yds, 15:02