Ravens drop Browns into tie for gutter

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 17, 2005

BALTIMORE (AP) - The Baltimore Ravens are still in last place in the AFC North, but they have some company - and reason to believe they can rebound from the worst start in franchise history.

‘‘The season is still early, and people are writing you off for a loss here and a loss there. That's just silly to us,'' Baltimore quarterback Anthony Wright said Sunday after the Ravens beat Cleveland 16-3 to drop the Browns into a last-place tie.

Eager to bounce back from an embarrassing performance in a 35-17 loss to Detroit, Baltimore (2-3) built a 16-point halftime lead and coasted to the finish. The Ravens are still a long way from getting back into playoff contention, but things don't look nearly as gloomy.

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‘‘It's not about how you start, it's how you finish,'' said Wright, who went 23-for-31 for 213 yards and a touchdown.

The Browns (2-3), meanwhile, are seeking a fresh start after failing to score a touchdown for the first time under coach Romeo Crennel.

‘‘We took a step back today,'' he said. ‘‘Now we have to go back to the drawing board, start over and try to dig ourselves out of a hole.''

Baltimore forced old friend Trent Dilfer into three turnovers and sacked him four times, key ingredients in the redemptive victory. Todd Heap scored the only touchdown for the Ravens, who were penalized 21 times last week against the Lions.

‘‘It doesn't matter who was at quarterback or what team you were playing, we needed to get a win here today,'' said Baltimore linebacker Tommy Polley, who had 1 1/2 sacks. ‘‘Everybody was doubting us, but we stuck together as a team all week.''

Dilfer led the Ravens to a lopsided win in the 2001 Super Bowl, but was released after the season when Baltimore signed Elvis Grbac.