Posted at 12:42 p.m., Sunday, September 30, 2007
NFL: Anderson throws two TD's as Browns top Ravens
Associated PressCLEVELAND - Picked on for years, the Cleveland Browns finally gave a black eye to one of the NFL's biggest bullies.
Derek Anderson threw two touchdown passes, Jamal Lewis ran for one against his former team and the Browns, considered the 98-pound weaklings of the rugged AFC North, surprised the Baltimore Ravens 27-13 today.
With their second win over a division opponent this month, the Browns (2-2) looked nothing like the inept team that was embarrassed 34-7 in their home opener three weeks ago by Pittsburgh.
Instead, Anderson, who has had a tendency to make poor decisions, made mostly smart ones while throwing two TD passes one a 78-yarder to Braylon Edwards in the first quarter as the Browns built a 24-6 lead over the stunned Ravens (2-2).
Lewis, released by Baltimore coach Brian Billick in March, got some satisfaction against his former coach and the team he played with for seven seasons. He finished with 64 yards and scored on a disputed 1-yard dive in the second quarter, the first TD rushing given up by the NFL's top run defense this season.
And Cleveland's defense kept Ravens quarterback Steve McNair on his heels and didn't give up a touchdown until the fourth quarter.
September was viewed as crucial for Browns coach Romeo Crennel's job security, and a .500 overall record and a 2-1 mark within the division should end any talk of a coaching change in Cleveland.
And as for changing quarterbacks, Anderson could keep rookie Brady Quinn on the bench longer than anyone thought possible.
The Ravens, who didn't have Pro Bowl tackle Jonathan Ogden for the third straight week, were reeling from the start.
Steve McNair, nursing an injured groin, attempted a career-high 53 passes. McNair threw an interception in the first quarter, and the Browns capitalized on the next play, when Anderson hit a wide-open Edwards to make it 14-0.
Phil Dawson kicked two field goals for the Browns, and everyone was in such a good mood late in the fourth quarter even Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards, a Michigan graduate, took part in rival Ohio State's signature "O-H-I-O" sing-a-long.
Willis McGahee had 104 yards on 14 carries against a Cleveland defense allowing 176 yards per game.
The Ravens had not given up a TD rushing in 2007 before Lewis leaped over the pile from the 1 to give the Browns a 24-3 lead.
The Browns, who didn't wake up until it was too late last week in a loss at Oakland, came out firing.
Kellen Winslow's first catch, a 25-yarder on third down, helped set up a 2-yard TD pass from Anderson to Joe Jurevicius. Winslow played with a partially dislocated left shoulder.
The Ravens drove to Cleveland's 27 on their first possession, but McNair's pass into double coverage was intercepted by Leigh Bodden.
Nine seconds later, the Browns were up 14-0 when Anderson found Edwards alone down the left sideline for a 78-yard TD. Pro Bowl cornerback Chris McAllister inexplicably cut inside as Edwards broke out before hauling in Anderson's toss and sprinting to the end zone untouched.
The Ravens closed within 27-13 on McNair's 4-yard pass to Quinn Sypniewski with 7:14 left. But despite getting the ball back two more times, McNair couldn't put together one of his patented late-game comebacks.