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LAST WEEK: The Ravens scored two touchdowns in the last 10 minutes to overcome a 17-6 deficit and defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 18-17, at PSINet Stadium. The come-from-behind win extended Baltimore’s home winning streak to eight (seven in the regular season) and improved the Ravens’ record to 4-3. Qadry Ismail caught the game-winning TD pass with 4:07 left in the game from QB Randall Cunningham, who started for injured Elvis Grbac (chest).
Both teams kicked second-quarter field goals, a 49-yarder by Matt Stover and a 40-yarder by Mike Hollis and the game was tied, 3-3 at halftime. The Ravens took a 6-3 lead on their first possession of the third quarter when Stover kicked a 28-yarder after 58-yard drive stalled at the Jacksonville 10. Jags’ QB Mark Brunell (25 of 37 for 306 yards, two TDs) threw a 35-yard TD pass to Jimmy Smith to cap a 90-yard drive and give the Jaguars a 10-6 lead with just over a minute left in the third quarter. On the Ravens’ next possession, a Cunningham (23 of 31 for 222 yards, one TD, one INT) pass bounced off RB Jason Brookins hands and into the hands of LB Hardy Nickerson at the Ravens’ 45-yard line. Brunell wasted no time, hitting WR Keenan McCardell for 34 yards, then RB Stacey Mack for an 11-yard TD pass to give the Jaguars a 17-6 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Cunningham, starting his first game since Nov. 5, 2000 as a Cowboy, then directed a nine-play, 71-yard drive that ended in a two-yard Jason Brookins touchdown run to make the score 17-12 after a two-point conversion attempt failed. After forcing a Jacksonville punt, the Ravens started the game-winning drive on their own 44. Key plays on the drive included a 16-yard reception by Ismail, a 13-yard catch by TE Shannon Sharpe on a third-and three, and Ismail’s diving two-yard TD catch in the endzone that gave the Ravens the 18-17 lead (a second two-point conversion failed) with 4:07 left in the game. The Baltimore defense stopped two Jacksonville drives, one on a fourth down pass play to McCardell, the other an incomplete pass to McCardell as time expired that was knocked down by Rod Woodson.
Postgame Notes – Jacksonville Jaguars at Baltimore Ravens
G Edwin Mulitalo – left ankle sprain (returned)
FB Obafemi Ayanbadejo – knee contusion (returned)
C Mike Flynn – ruptured right thumb tendon
The win was Baltimore’s eighth consecutive home victory (seventh in regular season).
The win was the first of the season for the Ravens when they entered the fourth quarter trailing (trailed 10-6, then 17-6 seven seconds into the fourth).
The win was Baltimore’s third straight over Jacksonville.
Seven of the 11 games between these two teams has been decided by three points or less, and nine of the 11 by seven or fewer points.
The win was Baltimore’s 15th in its last 18 games.
The Ravens are now 10-4 vs. the AFC Central since 2000 (11-4 including playoffs).
QB Randall Cunningham’s start was his first since Nov. 5, 2000 (with Dallas at Philadelphia). Cunningham now has 29,821 career passing yards.
WR Jimmy Smith (seven for 119 yards, one TD) recorded his sixth career 100-yard game against the Ravens.
WR Keenan McCardell (10 for 118 yards) recorded his fourth career 100-yard game against the Ravens.
Smith and McCardell have recorded over 100 yards in the same game nine times, and NFL record. Four of those games have been against Baltimore.
Ravens’ RB Jason Brookins (19 for 82 yards, one TD) had a career long 23-yard run and had career highs in carries and yardage.
TE Shannon Sharpe (seven receptions for 89 yards) now has 657 career catches. He needs five to tie, six to pass Ozzie Newsome (662) for the most catches by a tight end in NFL history.
WR Qadry Ismail (seven receptions for 85 yards) has at least one 20-yard (or more) reception in seven straight games. Ismail has one TD reception in four of his last five games.
LB Peter Boulware (one sack) has 13 career sacks against Jacksonville, including nine in his last five games.
K Matt Stover kicked his longest field goal of the season (49 yards) and has at least one field goal in an NFL record 33 straight games. Stover has made 11 consecutive field goal attempts and is 11-12 on the year (missed his first attempt of the season).
The Ravens are +4 in turnover ratio in their four wins, -11 in their three losses.