Bledsoe hits his mark but then passes on coach's remarks Talk by Ravens' Lewis, however, was on mind of Patriots RB Martin

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Drew Bledsoe threw the football against the Ravens yesterday like a man on a mission, and maybe he was.

The New England Patriots quarterback, 24, ripped apart the Ravens' defense for 310 yards and four touchdown passes on 25 completions in 39 attempts, leading the Patriots to a 46-38 victory.

The four touchdown passes tied a career single-game high for Bledsoe, and it was only the third time he has thrown four in a game in his four years with the Patriots.

The 46 points were the most scored in the NFL this season.

But Bledsoe wouldn't say he was disturbed this week when Ravens defensive coordinator Marvin Lewis said, "I don't think he [Bledsoe] is as good as Mike Tomczak. Bledsoe is a talented player with a talented team, and the team goes as well as he plays."

When asked about Lewis' remarks, Bledsoe waved his arms in the air and said, "I didn't even think about it" and continued walking away from a post-game interview.

However, Bledsoe's top running back, Curtis Martin, said Lewis' comments about Bledsoe were on his mind as the game unfolded.

"I know Marvin. He was my coach at Pitt. I was aware of what he said and was thinking about it," said Martin. "That's the way Marvin is. He also told me before the game that they [Ravens] were 'going to get me and shut me down.' They were waiting for me to run the ball.

"That's why we were able to be so successful passing the ball," said Martin. "Drew was just out there having fun today and we did a good job of taking their fans out of the game with those two quick touchdowns in the third quarter [giving the Patriots a 35-14 lead]."

Martin, who entered the game with 300 yards rushing, was limited to 49 yards on 19 carries yesterday.

So what did Lewis and Martin talk about after the game?

"I didn't get to see him [Lewis]," said Martin. "If I had seen him, I would have told him, 'Good game.' "

New England coach Bill Parcells played down Lewis' comments about Bledsoe.

"I don't know if they fired him up or not," said Parcells. "You'll have to ask Drew. I know he threw the ball well. When you put up that many points on the board, you got to be doing something right. We didn't turn it over, did we? Well, that's good, too. We're lucky to get out of here with a win against a team that I knew could score a lot of points."

Parcells denied that New England was intent on throwing the football all afternoon.

"That's not true. We just tried to loosen up their defense by pounding away at them a little," said Parcells.

Seven Patriots caught passes, with wide receiver Shawn Jefferson catching four for 88 yards and two touchdowns and tight end Ben Coates grabbing seven for 83 yards and one touchdown.

Wide receiver Terry Glenn also had six receptions for 88 yards and fullback Sam Gash caught four for 26 yards.

Coates liked the variety in the passing game because it took a lot of pressure off him.

"It's great for me," he said. "They can't double-team me like they used to."

Bledsoe said he wasn't bothered that much by the noise in Memorial Stadium.

"Maybe a few times in the first half," he said. "But we made a lot of big plays and that will silence fans anywhere. It was special to get our first win on the road and I want to enjoy it for one day before thinking about the Redskins [next week at home]. I know they are going to be tough coming off a bye."

Jefferson said: "Drew did a great job of throwing the ball, we had good field position all day and they helped us a lot with some penalties."

Pub Date: 10/07/96

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