1:00 PM ET, December 2, 2001
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.
Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis sacks Colts quarterback Peyton Manning for a 27-yard loss.
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 points." 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. The Colts led 27-26 until Elvis Grbac threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Qadry Ismail with 13:29 left. 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." Grbac passed for 268 yards and two scores, Moe Williams ran for 111 yards and Matt Stover kicked four field goals for the Ravens, whose last five wins have come by a total of 25 points. "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 streak. "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 20-19 lead. 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.Game notes
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.