"It was tough out there," Wright said. "I really don't understand myself."

Likewise, many league observers are trying to understand Wright.

After a couple of strong starts, he has put together back-to-back lackluster ones. He finished yesterday 12-for-27 passing for 193 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.

His favorite target, Marcus Robinson, did not have a reception after going three straight weeks with a touchdown.

Kyle Boller, the starter for the first nine games of the season, is expected to be healthy enough from leg surgery to play Sunday at Cleveland. But switching quarterbacks will not be a consideration this week.

"[Wright is] the starter next week," coach Brian Billick. "I'm glad I don't play for any of you [media] because the first time there's a bump in the road, you just p--- down your leg."

Wright's teammates continued to back him.

"He's going to come back and do the same things Anthony has always done," linebacker Ray Lewis said. "When Anthony was putting up 44 points in a game, everybody wanted to hop on his bandwagon. Hop off it. We like when you hop off it. We just like when we have confidence in Anthony. We're all right. Trust me."

Put some of the blame on Wright, whose second pass of the game - which featured receiver Frank Sanders stumbling - was overthrown and intercepted by Oakland cornerback Phillip Buchanon. It put the Raiders on the 1-yard line and 55 seconds into the game the Ravens were behind 7-0.

Put part of the blame on the Ravens' usually sound kickoff coverage team, which surrendered a 71-yard return to Doug Gabriel. The Ravens' defense didn't yield a yard, and Oakland settled for a 37-yard field goal.

Despite outgaining the Raiders 61-1 midway through the first quarter, the Ravens trailed 10-3 because of the lapses. By the end of the game, the Ravens had a 319-265 edge in total offense and Jamal Lewis had more yards rushing (125) than the entire Raiders team.

"Losses like this," linebacker Peter Boulware said, "you can't explain them."

Some fault even has to be placed on the defense, which had some untimely lapses in coverage.

A 21-yard touchdown pass to Jerry Rice in front of safety Will Demps gave Oakland a 17-6 halftime lead. Then, the Ravens' defense allowed two third-down conversions in the fourth quarter after giving up just three in the first three quarters, allowing the Raiders to use up the clock.

"Sometimes you have to give it to them because they made the play when they had to," Demps said.

When the Ravens made a play, they felt that it was sometimes taken away.

After tight end Todd Heap's 13-yard touchdown catch, the Ravens went for a two-point conversion. A draw by Chester Taylor, who appeared to stretch the ball onto the goal line, was not ruled a touchdown.

The Ravens challenged, but the officials said they could not clearly see when Taylor's knee touched the ground. As a result, the Ravens were behind 17-12 instead of 17-14 and had to go for a touchdown at the end.

"I thought he was in," Billick said. "Instant replay again. A lot of money spent on a system that comes away inconclusive."

When asked if there was any embarrassment felt from this loss - which included eight penalties - Heap said, "You got to feel that a little bit. We were supposed to win this game. You have to win those games to play at a championship level. We just put a little more pressure on these next two games."

The next game is at Cleveland, and the road has been unkind to the Ravens.

During their four-game losing streak on the road, the Ravens have turned the ball over 16 times. Those mistakes have been converted into 53 points.

"Just keep writing the same story," Heap said.

Despite the setback, the Ravens said they believe they have not written themselves out of the playoff picture.

"I think our chances are good," Boulware said. "In my mind, it's really not about Cleveland or Pittsburgh. It's about us. It's about how you prepare and play. When we play our style of ball, we're tough to beat."