What appeared to be an ugly victory was merely tradition.

What many perceived to be an upset was just another inexplicable repeat.

Relying on new faces and old tricks, the Ravens continued their reign over the Tennessee Titans with a 13-12 victory before 69,365 at Ravens Stadium yesterday.

The Ravens (5-6) stymied the Titans (6-5) for the fifth straight time, soaring on the familiar wings of special teams and defense.

The cast may have changed for the Ravens, but the formula remains the same, as rookie Ed Reed blocked a punt for the game's only touchdown and an undermanned defense delivered four turnovers and barricaded the end zone to salvage an offense in a tailspin.

"It seems like we were overmatched in personnel, but there's an extra fire when we play the Titans," Ravens linebacker Peter Boulware said. "We always seem to look like the '85 Bears out there against them."

Upending one of the NFL's hottest teams had little to do with reason.

The Ravens were outgained, 402-199, and were dominated in time of possession (34:09 to 25:51). They jumped to a 10-0 lead 10 1/2 minutes into the first quarter despite producing 8 yards of total offense.

With the bitter rivals not scheduled to meet for another three years, the Ravens preferred to relish getting the last word rather than rationalize how they ended Tennessee's five-game winning streak.

"I like beating Tennessee," Ravens offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden said. "We've beaten them for a long time, and it always hurts their feelings. They're a good team, but for some reason we've had their number lately."

The emotional turning point surfaced in the first quarter, when the Ravens capitalized on a Titans mistake and sidestepped a critical one of their own.

Just 61 seconds into the game, Reed beat Aric Morris on an inside move off the left edge and blocked Craig Hentrich's punt. Reed picked it up and raced 11 yards into the end zone, hoisting the ball in the air a few steps before reaching the goal line.

Reed, who was stripped on a potential touchdown return in his last home game, took extra precautions before celebrating his first career touchdown this time.

"I looked back before I put it up there," Reed said.

Showing resiliency, the Titans marched to the Ravens' 4-yard line, but rookie linebacker Bart Scott made a leaping interception in the end zone in the first of four red-zone stands.

The Ravens, though, nearly gave a touchdown back two plays later.

Ravens quarterback Jeff Blake threw an interception returned 28 yards by Tennessee cornerback Andre Dyson, which should have tied the game. But a roughing-the-passer penalty against the Titans' Keith Bulluck negated the score.

"I started to get the feeling at that point that it was going to be our day," Blake said.

While it would be the Ravens' day, it was another effort to forget by the offense.