If this becomes the turning point of the season, the Ravens will only have to remember last night's emotional swing, as safety Ed Reed raced from one end zone to the other.

Relying on a signature defensive stand, the black-clad Ravens delivered a 27-13 win over the Cleveland Browns before a national television audience and 69,781 at M&T Bank Stadium last night.

After a potential game-tying touchdown pass bounced off the hands of Browns tight end Aaron Shea, Reed caught it off his shoetops and ran it back an NFL-record 106 yards to seal the victory.

The sixth touchdown in Reed's 40th career game kept the Ravens (5-3) within two games of the AFC North-leading Pittsburgh Steelers.

"He just seems to always be around it when you need it," coach Brian Billick said. "He kind of waited until the end to do it. He could have saved my heart a little bit if he would have done it earlier."

Trailing 13-12 in the fourth quarter, the Ravens pinned the Browns deep in their territory when B.J. Sams tapped the punt out of the end zone and Chester Taylor stopped it with his legs at the Cleveland 1-yard line.

After the Ravens held Cleveland to 1 yard, Browns punter Derrick Frost, who was in the Ravens' training camp last year, flinched and hit a wobbly 7-yard punt out of bounds.

"I was trying to get it off quick. I saw the guy coming up the middle," Frost said. "I knew it was going to be bad, but not that bad."

With the Ravens getting the ball at the Browns' 9, Lewis cracked the end zone on his third try, diving from 2 yards out. It was the only offensive touchdown of a game chockfull of field goals.

Quarterback Kyle Boller then hit rookie receiver Clarence Moore for a two-point conversion to give the Ravens a 20-13 advantage.

Browns quarterback Jeff Garcia put a scare into the Ravens by driving 54 yards, moving Cleveland to the Ravens' 5-yard line with 45 seconds remaining.

But Shea, who got tangled up with linebacker Ray Lewis, saw the ball bounce off his hands and into the arms of Reed, who raced down the right sideline and scored with 26 seconds left in the game.

The Ravens' defense has only surrendered one touchdown in its past 14 quarters.

"We definitely weren't thinking they were going to score," Reed said. "We never give up. We never quit."

The Browns, though, were thinking the Ravens got away with a penalty. They believe Lewis should have been flagged for pass interference as he got to Shea just as the ball arrived.

"It's hard to win when guys are dragging you down," said coach Butch Davis, whose Browns fell to 3-5.

Said Shea: "I think when you're tackled when the ball gets there, that makes it kind of tough."

Another spark of controversy came from the Ravens' locker room.

In his first game back from an NFL suspension, Jamal Lewis ran for 81 yards on 22 carries. But for an offense that had to settle for four Matt Stover field goals through the first three quarters - 44, 39, 43 and 36 yards - and reached the red zone twice the entire game, Lewis said the Ravens have to rethink their play-calling.