This time, the Ravens applied the heat.
The defense intercepted four passes, including three from defensive backs, during a 34-3 rout over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.
Although no sensible person will ever mistake Browns quarterbacks Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson for Chargers star quarterback Philip Rivers, that didn’t make it feel any less good for the Ravens to rebound from allowing 436 passing yards last week.
"We played our type of football," said strong safety Dawan Landry, who intercepted a deep Anderson pass over the middle in the fourth quarter. "Last week wasn’t our best game, so we wanted to redeem ourselves.”
Indeed, it was a touch of redemption.
The Ravens limited Quinn and Anderson to a combined 17 of 27 for 126 yards, no touchdowns and a 34.4 quarterback rating.
"With the butt-whipping we took last week, this feels great," cornerback Fabian Washington said. “This is how we’re supposed to play.”
Cornerback Domonique Foxworth got the Ravens off to the right start by jumping a Quinn pass intended for Braylon Edwards in the first quarter to set up running back Willis McGahee’s first of two touchdown runs.
"Last week was frustrating for me because you always have to prove yourself," Foxworth said after picking off the fifth pass of his career. "It felt good to be able to come back and bounce back and show what kind of group we can be, and as an individual, show what kind of player I can be."
Foxworth wasn’t entirely satisfied, though.
He dropped a potential interception that could have gone for a touchdown.
"I have to be honest, I feel less nauseous this week than I did last week," Foxworth said. "I’m still a little uncomfortable. I feel a lot better than last week, but there’s still a little bit of stink on my back. I have to wash it off."
Free safety Ed Reed intercepted an Anderson pass.
Last week, Reed bit on some play-action fakes and was out of position to provide assistance on several deep passes.
This time, the communication was much better and the Ravens were more disciplined in carrying out their assignments.
"It was huge to come back from the San Diego game and make some plays this week to get the monkey off our back," Reed said. "It was just guys being where they were supposed to be and sticking with the game plan."
The Ravens weren’t surprised that Browns coach Eric Mangini benched Quinn and inserted Anderson after halftime.
"We kind of expected it," Reed said. "Before we went in, we said, ‘Expect Anderson.’ He’s played well against us before, so we expected him to come in."
MILESTONE: Veteran wide receiver Derrick Mason caught the 800th pass of his career, becoming the 23rd player in NFL history and the eighth active player to reach that mark.
"I didn’t get to throw most of those passes to him, but it’s pretty cool just to be a part of," quarterback Joe Flacco said. "You don’t know how many times you’re going to be around a guy like Derrick."
Mason finished the game with five catches for 118 yards, including a 72-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Now, he has 802 receptions for 10,257 yards for his career.
"We got the win on top of the 800 catches, so I guess that’s all that really matter," Mason said. "We really don’t make a big deal out of it. It was brought to my attention earlier this week. I didn’t know, honestly I didn’t.
"When I made the catch, I didn’t know that was the 800th catch. You don’t too much worry about if it’s your 800th catch or your 10th touchdown. You just try to do what you can to help the team win the football game."
A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Mason took exception with being labeled as a possession receiver.
"I’m tired of arguing with people and trying to convince people that I’m more than what you want to try and label me as," Mason said. "You’re the ones that try to put me in a box. So be it, I’m not stuck in a box."
SUCCESSFUL DEBUT: L.J. Smith was a happy man following the game.
The former Philadelphia Eagles tight end’s chronically bad left hamstring held up and he caught a 26-yard pass during his regular-season debut with the Ravens after signing a one-year, $1.5 million contract during the offseason.
"It felt great to contribute and play in a win," Smith said. "That’s a great feeling I’ve been waiting for. I wanted to have a meaningful catch and not get hurt.
"I still have some things to improve on. I’ve got to get my blocking down better. There was definitely some rust, but there were a lot of positives all around the board."
Smith is looking forward to some double tight end formations with starter Todd Heap in the future.
"Me and Todd didn’t get on the field at the same time," Smith said. "But if I stay healthy there will be more packages of us together. I’m feeling good."
SOUVENIR: Running back Ray Rice took the football to the bench for safekeeping after scoring the first touchdown of his NFL career on a nine-yard sweep in the third quarter.
"I could smell the end zone," Rice said. "It took me a long time, but I was patient. I’m sure that it will be the first of many. It was just the right time and the right play."
Rice bounced outside away from the Browns’ pursuit to high-step into the end zone.
"I handed the ball to him and a couple of seconds later, I realized he was going to be in the end zone," Flacco said. "It’s about time. He’s been knocking on the door a couple of times."
HOME COOKING: A Randallstown native who played collegiately at the University of Maryland, Foxworth is relishing playing in his hometown.
"It feels fantastic," he said. "This is the city I love. I don’t feel this strongly about the city because of what the Ravens paid me. I feel this way about the city because I was raised in it.
"I drive past places where I went to school or places where I’d eaten, even the building where I had my prom. It puts a smile on my face. I get a lot more postgame text messages now from people who actually watch me play."
SHORT MEMORY: This game marked Landry’s first encounter with the Browns since suffering a spinal cord concussion against them during the second week of last season.
Landry didn’t focus on the memory of being carted off the field and taken to the hospital a year ago.
"I didn’t think about it at all," he said. "It’s unfortunate what happened, but I wasn’t thinking about it."