on October 1, 2007 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Anderson’s 2 TD passes lead Browns 27-13 over ragged Ravens

CLEVELAND (AP) _ Braylon Edwards couldn’t contain his excitement. This was a Sunday to let loose.

As energized Browns fans broke into Ohio State’s signature “O-H-I-O” sing-a-long, raising their arms overhead to form each letter in the fourth quarter, Edwards, a Michigan man through and through, joined in.

“I was definitely doing it,” Edwards admitted. “This is Ohio. This is my residence. This is where I play football. This is where I earn my paycheck. This is the city I’ve adopted and the one that has adopted me. I don’t mind doing O-H-I-O. I don’t believe it just pertains to Ohio State.

“Cleveland,” he said, “is in Ohio.”

And perhaps, again home to a respectable NFL team.

Picked on for years, the Browns finally gave a black eye to one of the league’s biggest bullies.

Derek Anderson threw two touchdown passes, Jamal Lewis ran for one against his former team and the Browns, considered the weaklings of the rugged AFC North, surprised the Baltimore Ravens 27-13.

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 Edwards — in the first quarter as the Browns built a 24-6 lead over the stunned Ravens (2-2).

Following a win few expected, the Browns felt frisky.

“Everybody said we were the same old Browns,” Edwards said. “We’re ahead in our division and we can build on that. We have a team. We have something going. I’m not going to lie. This feels good.

“If we play like this the rest of the year, who knows what can happen.”

Cleveland struck early, building a 14-0 lead in the first quarter and then made enough plays to hold off the Ravens (2-2), who missed two field goals, made stupid penalties and never got a chance to display their usual nastiness.

Baltimore’s fearsome defense didn’t record a sack.

“They’re supposed to be the physical bullies,” said Browns linebacker Willie McGinest, who made his season debut following back surgery. “But we hit them back.”

This time, the Ravens were the ones who got pushed around.

“This is a low point for us,” tight end Todd Heap said. “Not a whole lot went our way.”

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 rushing TD given up by the NFL’s top run defense.

And Cleveland’s maligned 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.

Browns tight end Kellen Winslow, who was limited in practice this week because of a partially dislocated left shoulder, finished with four catches for 96 yards. Afterward, Winslow predicted bigger things ahead.

“We’re going to turn some heads this year,” he said.

Baltimore, which didn’t have Pro Bowl tackle Jonathan Ogden for the third straight week, was in a hole from the start. And although they had the edge in nearly every statistical category, the Ravens were abysmal.

“Anytime you give a team 14 points like we did, it’s a tough mountain to climb,” linebacker Ray Lewis said. “Anytime you have turnovers and give them a short field the way we did, you have to ask yourself if we came to play.”

Steve McNair, nursing an injured groin, passed for 307 yards and set career highs in completions (34) and attempts (53). But it was his interception on Baltimore’s first possession that led to Cleveland’s biggest play.

McNair forced a throw into double coverage and was intercepted by Leigh Bodden. Nine seconds later, 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.

“It was a simple go route,” Edwards said. “I gave him a quick inside move and he bit, so I exploded past him. It’s something I have been studying in the offseason and I knew it was possible.”

Notes:@ Willis McGahee had 104 yards on 14 carries against a Cleveland defense allowing 176 yards per game. … The Browns have scored 24 points in their last three games. Last season, they scored 24 points just three times. … The Ravens didn’t record a sack against the Browns for the first time since 2000. … Ravens coach Brian Billick threw his red flag too late to challenge Lewis’ TD. TV replays appeared to show that he failed to cross the goal line.