BALTIMORE (AP) -- This time, coach Jim Mora was almost serene in
the wake of a frustrating defeat. Maybe it was because he had
already seen the same thing so many times this season.
Rod Woodson set an NFL record with his 10th career interception
return for a touchdown, going 47 yards with the last of the
Indianapolis Colts' four turnovers to clinch the Baltimore Ravens'
39-27 victory Sunday.
After the Colts' loss to San Francisco last week, Mora
repeatedly slammed his hand, calling the performance a "disgrace"
and indirectly chiding quarterback Peyton Manning for his four
Manning was guilty of two turnovers Sunday and Indianapolis
(4-7) lost its fourth straight, but Mora took it all in stride.
"I took (medication) before I came in here and it calmed me
down," he said, forcing a grin. "I know it's no consolation when
you lose a game, but I'm proud of our football team. ... We fought
them tooth and nail. We just came up short."
What was wrong with the Ravens' defense today?
Give some credit to the Colts -- they're pretty strong on offense.
What's hurting the Ravens is that they have so many guys injured up front. They're definitely not playing at full strength. On Sunday, they didn't have three of their four starters on the defensive line, so the Ravens were rotating different people in. But they get worn down more quickly as the game goes along, which then exposes some problems in the secondary.
We're not seeing the real Ravens' defense -- we're seeing a lot of second-teamers.
ESPN.com's Vinny Cerrato was director of player personnel for the Redskins and 49ers.
He even spoke kindly of Manning, who was 28-for-48 for 310 yards
and two touchdowns, but whose miscues led to 10 Baltimore points.
"Peyton played good," Mora said. "The offense struggled in
the first half against a very good defense, but we started doing
better in the second half. We moved the ball and scored some
Except in the fourth quarter, when it counted most. Baltimore
(8-4), which also had four turnovers, won this zany game of give
and take with a typical fourth-quarter performance.
The Ravens have won five of six heading into their bye week. In
each of those five victories, the Super Bowl champions either
trailed or were tied entering the fourth quarter.
Woodson broke a tie with Ken Houston for most career
interceptions for a touchdown, going the distance with 1:34 left.
It was the sixth time this season that Manning threw an
interception that was returned for a score.
"He threw it right to me," Woodson said. "Luckily, nobody was
on the outside so I could run right to the end zone."
Said Manning: "I was trying to get Marvin (Harrison) down the
middle, kind of an anticipation throw, hoping he'd break across in
front of Woodson."
On his rift with Mora, Manning said, "It's a dead issue. We put
it to bed Thursday and had a good week of practice."
"If there is another way to turn the ball over, I'm not aware
of it," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "We keep making some of
those errors, and hopefully we learn from it. It doesn't seem to
cost us the games at times. We're lucky that way."
If only the Colts were so fortunate. Their losing streak is
their longest since 1998.
Dominic Rhodes, the replacement for the injured Edgerrin James,
lost two fumbles and was limited to 42 yards on 16 carries.
The Colts have a minus-12 turnover differential this season and
have been outscored 46-3 in the fourth quarter during their losing
"You're always upset about turnovers," Mora said, "but we got
some turnovers from them, too."
The biggest was 30-yard interception return for a touchdown by
Jeff Burris in the first half.
The Ravens scored six points off two turnovers in the final
minute of the first half, then went up 19-10 early in the third
quarter by adding another field goal after Rhodes' second fumble.
The Colts then used a pair of turnovers to take their first
lead. A fumble by Shannon Sharpe set up a field goal, and on the
ensuring kickoff, Indianapolis' Nick Harper punched the ball out
Jermaine Lewis' arm during a 64-yard return.
Indianapolis recovered the ball in the end zone, and Manning
followed with a 40-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Pollard for a
Baltimore responded with a 9-yard TD run by Obafemi Ayanbadejo,
but the Colts used a 57-yard pass from Manning to Harrison to move
back in front for the final time.
Manning, with 15,306 career passing yards, reached the
15,000 mark in 58 games, second-fastest in NFL history behind Dan
Marino (56 games). ... Including the playoffs, Baltimore has now
won 12 consecutive games in December. ... Colts DE Brad Scioli left
the game in the fourth quarter with a sprained ankle, and K Mike
Vanderjagt hurt his back in the third quarter.
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