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Baltimore at New Orleans

Taylor runs wild; Ravens shut down Saints

NFL.com wire reports
  •  

NEW ORLEANS (Aug. 26, 2005) -- Chester Taylor quickly erased any illusions the New Orleans Saints might have had about shoring up their run defense.

Taylor rushed for 151 yards on 13 carries, one of them a 43-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, helping Baltimore beat New Orleans 21-6.

"I should be thanking the offensive line. They were giving me a crease to hit, giving me a chance to look up and see the end zone," Taylor said.

Baltimore also scored on Kyle Boller's 31-yard pass and a 78-yard interception return by Jarvis Johnson, who picked off reserve Kliff Kingsbury late in the fourth quarter.

New Orleans could not get in the end zone against the stingy Ravens, settling for two field goals by reserve placekicker Nate Fikse.

The Saints, who stressed stopping the run and covering kicks in practice this week, needed only 20 seconds to elicit boos from the home crowd on both counts. Baltimore's B.J. Sams returned the opening kickoff 48 yards to the Saints 43. And on the first play, Taylor found a huge hole on the left side of the line, cut back to the right and outraced everyone.

"The most important thing for us is just to be ready when we go to Carolina" for the season opener, Saints defensive end Charles Grant said. "One touchdown and the fans go to booing us. That's not called for. No matter what people say, the fans say, the papers say, this is a good football team."

It didn't look that way on Taylor's next run, either -- also Baltimore's next play from scrimmage. He broke free for a 50-yarder, giving him 93 yards on two carries. The Saints saved face on that drive when Boller's deflected pass was intercepted by Grant on the New Orleans 22-yard line for Boller's fourth interception in three games.

Having given up a 40-yard touchdown run in their opener against Seattle and a 49-yarder to New England last week, the Saints clearly have more work to do in that area.

"I was disappointed in the way we tackled," Saints coach Jim Haslett said. "All in all, I thought we took a step backward."

But there were some encouraging signs for New Orleans.

Johnathan Sullivan, a No. 6 overall draft pick in 2003 who last season saw his weight keep him out of action, played often. While Sullivan was not in for Taylor's big runs, he played throughout the third quarter, when Baltimore managed only 3 yards rushing. He was in on four tackles, including a sack for a 10-yard loss.

"He was very active. His weight's way down to 310 (pounds) and he has been moving well," Haslett said.

Baltimore finished with 181 yards rushing, although Jamal Lewis didn't play because of a bone spur in his left foot.

New Orleans' first-team offense had only two decent drives in the first half.

Donte' Stallworth's 47-yard reception from Aaron Brooks helped the Saints pull to 7-3 in the second quarter, but a defensive penalty helped Baltimore widen its lead on the Ravens' next drive.

Ronald McKinnon was flagged for leading with his helmet when he sacked Boller. The 15-yard personal foul put the Ravens on the Saints 38. Three plays later, Boller narrowly averted a blitz by lofting a sideline pass to Clarence Moore that made it 14-3 as cornerback Mike McKenzie fell down.

"We knew they'd bring pressure and I wanted to take a shot," Boller said. "It was easy. I threw it up and Clarence went up and got it."

Boller finished with 53 yards passing, completing 5 of 11 attempts in one half. Coach Brian Billick deflected blame elsewhere.

"We have to pass block better," the coach said. "When our quarterback is getting the hell knocked out of him, that's not good."

Fikse hit a 48-yarder to close the score to 14-6 at halftime.

Brooks, who left after the first half, was 10-for-20 for 139 yards. New Orleans had 102 yards on the ground, 33 yards on scrambles by reserve quarterback Adrian McPherson, who led the Saints in rushing but completed only one pass for 9 yards.

"The things we did give up were just some miscommunication, but that's football," said Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, who had four tackles. "The important thing is we didn't give up a touchdown."

GAME NOTES:

  • The Saints suffered a couple serious injuries to reserves in the third quarter. Tight end Boo Williams tore both the ACL and MCL in his right knee, likely ending his season. Rookie linebacker Alfred Fincher broke his right wrist trying to assist on a tackle. Also, Haslett said G Jermane Maybery strained his left calf muscle and could miss a couple weeks.
  • DB Deion Sanders did not play. CB Dale Carter played sparingly because of tightness in his back, Billick said.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
 
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Fri. Aug. 26Final
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Scoring Summary
1ST QUARTER
TDChester Taylor, 43 Yd run (Matt Stover kick is good), 14:40. Drive: 1 play, 43 yards in 0:20.
2ND QUARTER
FGNate Fikse 28 Yd, 6:13. Drive: 8 plays, 56 yards in 3:17.
TDClarence Moore, 31 Yd pass from Kyle Boller (Matt Stover kick is good), 1:54. Drive: 8 plays, 84 yards in 4:19.
FGNate Fikse 48 Yd, 0:23. Drive: 10 plays, 59 yards in 1:31.
3RD QUARTER
None
4TH QUARTER
TDJarvis Johnson, 78 Yd interception return (Rhys Lloyd kick is good), 2:26.
Baltimore
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
A. Wright12/178700
K. Boller5/115311
RushingATTYDSTDLG
C. Taylor13151150
T. Redmon920010
K. Boller212013
A. Wright2-20-1
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
C. Moore241131
P. Johnson227020
T. Smith42509
R. Abiamiri115015
J. Green215010
M. Clayton1909
D. Wilcox1808
D. Darling1202
T. Redmon3-203
New Orleans
PassingCP/ATYDSTDINT
A. Brooks10/2013900
K. Kingsbury6/146601
T. Bouman4/103100
A. McPherson1/3900
RushingATTYDSTDLG
A. McPherson333029
D. McAllister929016
A. Stecker71906
A. Smith51509
A. Brooks1606
ReceivingRECYDSTDLG
D. Stallworth471047
J. Horn563023
A. Stecker236033
Z. Hilton323011
N. Poole222014
M. Banks21009
E. Conwell110010
D. McAllister210010
Complete Player Stats
Other Games
STL 37 Final
DET 13
SEA 23 Final
KC 17
HOU 9 Final
DAL 21
IND 24 Final
DEN 37
TB 14 Final
MIA 17
TEN 13 Final
SF 16
ARI 17 Final
OAK 16
SD 16 Final
MIN 19
NYJ 14 Final
NYG 15
NE 27 Final
GB 3
CAR 23 Final
CLE 20
BUF 12 Final
CHI 16
PIT 10 Final
WAS 17
CIN 17 Final
PHI 27
ATL 23 Final
JAC 7