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Buffalo at Baltimore

Bills 20, Ravens 19

SportsLine.com wire reports

BALTIMORE -- Here's a twist: The Buffalo Bills talking excitedly about defense and special teams in the wake of a narrow victory.

Antonio Brown returned a punt 87 yards for the decisive touchdown with 3:19 left, and Nate Clements intercepted Chris Redman's pass to set up a score in a 20-19 preseason victory Saturday night.

"We came out and did some key things we wanted to do -- three-and-outs and turnovers," Clements said.

The Bills ranked 27th in points allowed last year and were dead last in takeaways, two big reasons why they went 8-8 and missed the playoffs despite averaging 24 points per game.

Newcomer Takeo Spikes had three tackles for a retooled defense that forced three turnovers and limited the Ravens to one touchdown through the first three quarters.

"They did a good job of getting turnovers, making stops," Buffalo coach Gregg Williams said.

Brown, a rookie wide receiver, blew past the Ravens' punt return coverage and cruised down the left sideline to make it 20-13.

"It was nice to see Brown take the punt and make a big play," Williams said. "On our special teams, we've been lacking that for a while. That was fun to see."

Ravens first-round pick Kyle Boller responded with a 26-yard touchdown throw to Randy Hymes with 23 seconds left, but the two-point conversion pass failed.

Redman, Boller and veteran Anthony Wright all struggled in their quest to make an impression on Baltimore coach Brian Billick, who has declared the duel for the starting quarterback job to be an open competition.

Redman played the first quarter, guiding the Ravens to one touchdown and four first downs in four possessions. He went 5-for-8 for 55 yards and one interception - an excellent play by Clements, who stripped the ball from Marcus Robinson at the Baltimore 14.

"The interception was not Chris' fault. I thought he was fairly efficient," Billick said at halftime.

Redman was replaced by Wright, who went 7-for-11 for 75 yards and one interception.

Boller played the entire second half, completing 10 of 21 passes for 124 yards in his professional debut.

"The speed of the game is incredible," Boller said. "You have a million things that you're thinking about. Toward the end I got a little more comfortable out there."

Buffalo quarterback Drew Bledsoe went 4-for-8 for 27 yards before leaving early in the second quarter. Half his completions went to Eric Moulds.

"Well, I felt like we were sloppy," Bledsoe said. "Thankfully, our defense stepped up, turned the ball over for us and gave us a chance to score on the short field."

The Bills didn't make a first down until late in the first quarter, but tied it at 7 when Olandis Gary scored from the 1 after Clements' interception.

Rian Lindell's field goal from 34 yards put Buffalo up 10-7 with 5:11 left in the second quarter.

Bills backup Travis Brown went 9-for-21 and directed a 65-yard drive that led to a 25-yard field goal by Lindell for a 13-7 lead with 2:55 left in the third quarter.

Baltimore tied it with 7:52 remaining on a 1-yard run by Dameon Hunter. The play came after a partially blocked punt and a deflected completion from Boller to Ron Johnson for 21 yards to the 3.

Backup kicker Dan Nystrom missed the conversion.

Ravens wide receiver Frank Sanders dislocated two toes on his right foot on the game's fifth play and did not return, but the injury was not serious.

Baltimore tight end Trent Smith broke his leg after being tackled on a 39-yard completion from Boller.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2003, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
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Scoring Summary
TDJamal Lewis, 1 Yd run (Matt Stover kick is good), 7:01. Drive: 7 plays, 42 yards in 3:55.
TDOlandis Gary, 1 Yd run (Rian Lindell kick is good), 3:06. Drive: 4 plays, 14 yards in 1:59.
FGRian Lindell 34 Yd, 5:11. Drive: 7 plays, 46 yards in 4:43.
FGRian Lindell 25 Yd, 2:55. Drive: 13 plays, 65 yards in 6:47.
TDDameon Hunter, 1 Yd run (Dan Nystrom kick Failed), 7:52. Drive: 5 plays, 23 yards in 1:31.
TDAntonio Brown, 87 Yd punt return (Rian Lindell kick is good), 3:19.
TDRandy Hymes, 26 Yd pass from Kyle Boller (Kyle Boller 2 Pt. Conversion pass to Randy Hymes failed), 0:23. Drive: 8 plays, 59 yards in 1:09.
T. Brown9/218300
A. Van Pelt2/24600
D. Bledsoe4/82700
J. Burns1234010
O. Gary71717
S. Morris217013
C. Johnson1303
D. Parker2105
K. Simonton3105
C. Coleman589036
J. Burns318010
E. Moulds216011
R. Wright21609
M. Campbell1606
B. McDonnell1606
S. Morris1505
K. Boller10/2112410
A. Wright7/117501
C. Redman5/85501
C. Taylor83009
J. Lewis61516
K. Boller31105
M. Lester111011
D. Hunter3311
R. Brewer3102
R. Hymes372141
T. Smith139039
T. Jones338019
R. Johnson431021
M. Lester217012
M. Robinson113013
C. Taylor21108
T. Taylor110010
R. Brewer1909
M. Wynn1707
F. Sanders1505
J. Jones1404
D. Hunter1-20-2
Complete Player Stats