By David Ginsburg, AP Sports Writer
BALTIMORE (AP) — With one ferocious tug on the football, Ray Lewis erased the sting of an uncharacteristically poor performance by the Baltimore Ravens defense.
Billy Cundiff kicked a 38-yard field goal with 10:57 left in overtime after Lewis stripped the ball from tight end Shawn Nelson, and the Ravens squeezed past the winless Buffalo Bills 37-34 Sunday.
Baltimore yielded 505 yards and four touchdowns to the 30th-ranked offense in the NFL. But the Ravens also forced four turnovers, including three by Ed Reed in his injury-delayed season debut.
The Ravens (5-2) trailed 24-10 late in the first half before scoring 24 straight points to take a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter. Buffalo's Ryan Fitzpatrick then threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Lee Evans with 5:46 left, and the Bills (0-6) forced overtime on a 50-yard field goal by Rian Lindell with four seconds to go in regulation.
Fitzpatrick went 29 for 43 for 373 yards and four touchdowns - three to Evans and another to Steve Johnson. The four TD passes were the most against the Ravens since Peyton Manning did it for Indianapolis in December 2007.
But it all went for naught after Lewis yanked the ball from Nelson's hands at the Buffalo 29 in overtime. Four plays later, Cundiff connected on the game-winner.
Reed, who spent the previous six weeks recovering from offseason hip surgery, immediately made his presence felt. He forced a fumble on Buffalo's first possession, then made two interceptions in the second half - including one that was deflected by Lewis.
Joe Flacco threw three touchdown passes, and Baltimore improved to 14-1 under coach John Harbaugh against teams with sub-.500 records.
But this one was anything but easy.
Fitzpatrick threw for 181 yards and three touchdowns, and Buffalo amassed 262 yards against the NFL's third-ranked defense in taking a 24-20 halftime lead.
After Cundiff kicked a field goal on Baltimore's second possession, Fitzpatrick guided the Bills on a 72-yard drive that ended with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Evans in the front left corner of the end zone.
Josh Wilson fumbled the subsequent kickoff, and Buffalo's George Wilson recovered at the Baltimore 15 to set up a field goal to make it 10-3.
The Ravens punted, and Buffalo launched a 91-yard drive in which Fitzpatrick went 3 for 5 for 59 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown to Johnson on a third-and-7. At that point, many in the crowd of 71,220 showered jeers upon the home team.
Aided by a 40-yard pass interference call against Drayton Florence, Flacco capped an 80-yard drive with a 26-yard touchdown pass to Todd Heap.
But the Ravens defense had no answer for Fitzpatrick, who completed a 43-yard pass to Johnson before guiding a pass between three defenders to Evans for a 20-yard score.
Cundiff drilled a 48-yard field goal with 56 seconds left, and Baltimore got the ball back when C.J. Spiller fumbled away the kickoff. Four plays later, Flacco hit Heap for a 14-yard touchdown.
Flacco threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin on a flea-flicker and Willis McGahee scored on a 2-yard run to put the Ravens up 34-24 entering the fourth quarter.
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