The next play, Couch got the best of Starks on a 36-yard touchdown pass to Quincy Morgan, extending the margin to 24-6 with 5:20 left in the third. Stretching out for the ball at the goal line, Starks went for the interception and tipped the ball, which fell into the hands of Morgan.

At that point, Grbac walked off the field for X-rays from an injury that occurred on an earlier third-quarter sack. It was the same story, different injury from a week ago, when Grbac left with a concussion and a sprained neck.

Backup Randall Cunningham had similar results as Grbac yesterday behind a sieve-like offensive line. He did, however, produce the Ravens' only touchdown, hitting Qadry Ismail on a 22-yard pass midway through the fourth quarter.

In his post-game news conference, Billick was asked who would start at quarterback next week against Jacksonville.

"If Elvis Grbac is healthy," Billick said, "it's Elvis Grbac."

Grbac still has the backing of his teammates.

"It's not Elvis' fault," Sharpe said. "We're not protecting Elvis. But by the same token, he understands that he has to take better care of the football. We'll get that corrected. If not, we'll be sitting home that second week in January."

The Ravens also lost their starting running back, Terry Allen, who was sidelined after the game's fifth play with a sprained left ankle. Jason Brookins ran for 46 yards on 13 carries in his absence.

Running back has become a hot topic with the Ravens. According to a league source, the Ravens have been looking to trade for a running back this past week, shopping around defensive tackle Lional Dalton. The trading deadline is tomorrow.

The Ravens, though, were more concerned about their present troubles than future movement.

"We're 3-3, and if we don't take it seriously, we can be 8-8," safety Rod Woodson said. "We've got to pick it up - now."

Second place is gone. The title defense is being questioned.

"We're at the crossroads," Sharpe said. "Where do we want to go from here? Do we want to go up or do we want to feel sorry for ourselves?"