Redemption For Ravens Secondary

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As the Ravens' defensive backs huddled before Sunday's game, anticipating the usual speech from their leader Ed Reed, free agent acquisition Domonique Foxworth suddenly took center stage.

Foxworth, still wrought with emotion from his subpar performance against the San Diego Chargers a week earlier, spoke from the heart.

"Let's win because of us, not in spite of us," Foxworth passionately told his secondary mates.

Foxworth got it started with an interception on the Browns' first drive and the other Ravens defensive backs followed suit, rebounding from last week's rough showing to notch three interceptions as a unit and four as a team.

Linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo notched a pick on quarterback Derrick Anderson's first series to open the second half and Reed and safety Dawan Landry each intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter to solidify the Ravens' 34-3 victory.

The Ravens' four interceptions directly led to 21 points, including a touchdown off Foxworth's interception to jumpstart the Ravens' scoring.

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"Today I think we can take a small percentage of the credit," Foxworth said with a smile.

Foxworth said he felt nauseous after surrendering 436 yards in the air to Philip Rivers and the Chargers last Sunday. While the defensive backs made several big plays towards the end of game to preserve the win – a win that they said is the bottom line no matter how poorly they play – it still left a scar on the secondary.

"It wasn't us," Foxworth said of the Ravens' uncharacteristic performance.

Foxworth said it was "pretty confrontational" this week at practice and that Wednesday was the toughest practice since training camp. He said head coach John Harbaugh made sure to hold the defensive backs accountable for their performance, even though the players "don't always like to hear his voice."

"We took a lot of criticism, not within ourselves, but from the media," Landry added. "We knew we were better than that. Last week was last week. You have those kind of games. You just have to look at the film, learn from your mistakes and take it out on the next opponent."

As far as the Ravens' preparation, Reed said nothing changed.

This time the Ravens' defensive backs were facing receivers who didn't tower above them and quarterbacks not named Rivers. They were also aided by more consistent pressure on the quarterback out of the defensive front four. That meant Browns starting quarterback Brady Quinn and Anderson couldn't get comfortable sitting back and heaving the ball downfield.

Quinn seemed at ease on his first drive. He completed his first two passes for four and six yards and then scrambled for seven yards. Then, on third-and-four, Quinn tossed a ball to the sideline. Foxworth easily stepped in front for his first interception as a Raven and returned it 13 yards before lateraling to Ray Lewis, who was stopped at the 31-yard line.

Six plays later, Ravens running back Willis McGahee strolled into the end zone and Baltimore had all the points it would need as the defense surrendered just three points, 115 yards passing and 71 yards rushing.

Even despite that, the ever-critical Foxworth still felt a little uneasy after the game.

He was bothered by the fact that he didn't return his interception for a touchdown, he didn't notch a second interception on a pass he tipped and he surrendered a pair of third-down receptions on the Browns' only scoring drive.

"I feel a lot better than last week, but there's still a little stink on my back I have to wash off," Foxworth said. "Two picks and a touchdown is much better than one pick. It's a whole other stratosphere of good gamesnessship."

For now, however, the Ravens are content just getting Sunday's good game from its secondary.

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