Lions 35, Ravens 17
-- The Baltimore Ravens fell to 1-3 this season, which is unfortunate for them. The manner in which they did it was unfortunate for all involved.
The Ravens drew 21 penalties, including eight personal fouls, and had two players ejected for making contact with referees during a 35-17 loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
"Clearly what happened out there was giving in to the emotion of the situation," Ravens Coach Brian Billick said. "Passion, emotion and intensity are good, but they always have to be under control, and we clearly didn't have it today."
Statistically, the Ravens seemingly outplayed the Lions, gaining 387 total yards to the Lions' 266. Baltimore had 26 first downs to the Lions' 22. But that was more than negated because the Ravens had 14 more penalties and two more ejections than did the Lions. Another significant factor was the Ravens' four turnovers -- two fumbles and two interceptions thrown by Anthony Wright.
Billick's animated antics on the sideline were an indication of how he felt about the way referee Mike Carey called the game. Afterward, Billick declined to comment to reporters about the officiating, except to say that he would file his concerns with the league office this week.
Defensive end Terrell Suggs and free safety B.J. Ward were ejected after each made contact with an official in the third quarter. Both incidents occurred during the Lions' first possession of the second half. On second and goal from the Ravens 6, Suggs was flagged for roughing quarterback Joey Harrington. Suggs jumped up and charged Carey, striking the referee's cap with his facemask.
"He bumped me with malice in his heart and he was gone," Carey said. "He said a number of things to me."
Six plays later, the Lions built a 21-10 lead on running back Artose Pinner's one-yard run up the middle. After the extra point, Ward and safety Ed Reed skirmished with Lions tight end Casey FitzSimmons. While line judge Mark Perlman attempted to restore order, Ward inadvertently made contact with him, drawing the ejection.
"I was surprised by it, man," Ward said of his ejection. "I clearly had nothing to do with it."
Lions Coach Steve Mariucci said that he talked to his team Saturday about keeping cool in what he felt would be an extremely physical game.
"We knew what kind of game this was going to be," he said. "I mentioned that it was a couple of angry teams, and I believe that we had a couple of angry teams that are trying to get something done. I am proud of the guys for keeping their heads on straight."
The Ravens' 21 penalties (for 147 yards) were one shy of the NFL record, done three times. The Ravens' previous high was 14, set in November 2003 against Seattle.
The Lions' Harrington struggled, throwing two interceptions, completing 10 of 23 passes for 97 yards and earning a measly 34.1 passer rating. The Lions (2-2), however, converted 8 of 14 third-down plays, allowing them to keep drives alive.
"Nobody cares about how pretty or how not pretty it was today," Harrington said. "We had the defense setting us up, offense taking advantage and special teams setting us up, so it was nice to see that point total on the board."
The Ravens were in trouble from the start, committing turnovers on three of their first four possessions. That helped the Lions to a 14-0 lead.
The Ravens' first possession ended when Wright's pass to Derrick Mason was intercepted by Dre Bly at the Ravens 25.
Four plays later, running back Kevin Jones sprinted 14 yards -- with three Ravens in pursuit -- to the right corner of the end zone.
On the Lions' next possession, Suggs sacked Harrington and the ball hit the ground. It appeared that Harrington was throwing the ball as he went down, but the play was not blown dead. Jones reacted when others didn't, scooped up the ball and ran to the Ravens 2 before being dragged down by Suggs.
"You can't quit," Billick said. "You have to go to the whistle; you can't stop."
Two plays later, Jones scored from the 1, making it 14-0.
Baltimore trimmed it to 14-10 by halftime. Running back Jamal Lewis caught a 15-yard pass -- his first receiving touchdown of the year -- and Matt Stover made a 46-yard field goal as time expired.
The Ravens moved the ball well on their first series of the second half, but punted when the drive stalled at the Lions 33. Then came the series that saw the Ravens' defense self-destruct. The Lions marched 73 yards on 18 plays, while eating up more than nine minutes of the third quarter.
During the drive, the Ravens committed six penalties, four of them giving the Lions first downs, and had their two ejections.
"They really chewed up a lot of the clock with their running game," Ravens defensive back Deion Sanders said. "They came out and played an excellent second half; you have to give them credit."
The Lions scored on three straight possessions, capped by running back Shawn Bryson's 77-yard run in the fourth quarter. It was the Lions' longest touchdown run since Hall of Famer Barry Sanders's 80-yarder in November 1997.
Wright threw his second touchdown pass, hitting tight end Todd Heap for six yards midway through the fourth.
Afterward, Billick said: "I'm not prepared to give you a lot of responses or observations until I absorb this and look at the film and decide what happened and what we're going to do about going forward. Commenting on it right now would simply give in to the emotion that you saw us give in to the emotion on the field."