Friday, December 26, 2014

Smarter, Sharper Ravens Lead Eagles

Turnovers were again the story as the Eagles finished the first half of their home opener trailing Baltimore 17-7.

Smarter, Sharper Ravens Lead Eagles

Michael Vick is pursued by Ravens linebacker Courtney Upshaw. (Mel Evans/AP Photo)
Michael Vick is pursued by Ravens linebacker Courtney Upshaw. (Mel Evans/AP Photo)

Turnovers were again the story as the Eagles finished the first half of their home opener trailing Baltimore 17-7.

Michael Vick set the tone on the first possession, when he led the team downfield, completing his first five passes, then scrambled and threw an interception to Bernard Pollard in the end zone, on second and 9 from the Ravens' 12.

The Eagles got the ball back on a Joe Flacco fumble and scored on a LeSean McCoy 1-yard run. but the lead didn't last long. Baltimore never faced third down in driving 58 yards in seven plays, fullback Vonta Leach scoring.

Then rookie Bryce Brown fumbled a handoff -- don't expect to see Brown again anytime soon -- and Ray Rice rambled 43 yards up the gut of the Eagles' defense on the next snap. Three quick plays later, it was 14-7, Nnamdi Asomugha beaten on a very nice Flacco pass to Jacoby Jones.

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It got worse. The Eagles drove for first down at the Ravens' 9, but Ladarius Webb came in unblocked asnd put his helmet right on the ball as McCoy tried to run up the middle. Fumble, Ravens' ball.

Then the Eagles' screwed up the halftime endgame bad enough to give away another three points. Rookie returner Damaris Johnson elected to fair-catch a punt at his own 6 with a minute and 5 seconds left in the half. Though the Ravens had two timeouts, the Eagles did not try to gain a first down and had to punt the ball back, resulting in a 56-yard Baltimore field goal, after a weak 38-yard Chas Henry punt.

The Eagles, who talked all offseason about the importance of cutting down turnovers, have eight in their first six quarters of the season.

Les Bowen Daily News Staff Writer
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