Ravens - Eagles game notes

BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis was chasing Donovan McNabb, trailing him by a few steps and closing rapidly when the Philadelphia Eagles' All-Pro quarterback executed a bit of sleight of hand. McNabb's shovel pass to Correll Buckhalter eluded Lewis and the rest of the Baltimore Ravens' pursuit. The running back rambled 48 yards down to the Ravens' 1-yard line.

Two plays later, McNabb deftly ran a play-action fake to running back Reno Mahe and lobbed it to him in the end zone over linebacker Adalius Thomas for the first-quarter touchdown. It was the second scoring drive engineered by McNabb, staking Philadelphia to a 10-0 lead in a game ultimately won 20-10 by Baltimore at M&T Bank Stadium.

It was that kind of evening for the Ravens' defense in what marked the first time their entire starting 11 has been assembled in a game this year. It was also Lewis' first action in 10 months after undergoing season-ending surgery last December to repair a torn hamstring.

"We expect so much of ourselves, and it wasn't up to our standard," defensive coordinator Rex Ryan said. "We blew a coverage and they made a good play on the screen."

The game began roughly for the Ravens' defense on the opening series as cornerback Samari Rolle was flagged for a debatable 33-yard pass interference call when he bumped into Darnerien McCants while going up for the football.

"Tough call on Samari," Ryan said. "He had position. He looked back and made the play. I'm not sure how else to coach that one."

The Eagles went on to kick a 43-yard field goal to open a 3-0 advantage.

McNabb completed 6 of 10 passes for 97 yards. He was sacked once and finished with a lofty 125.8 passer rating.

The Ravens did contain the run, holding the Eagles to 28 yards on eight carries in the first half.

And Lewis got a measure of revenge late in the first half.

Although off-balance in the open field, the seven-time All-Pro corralled Mahe after an 11-yard gain and swiped the football out of his grasp. Outside linebacker Terrell Suggs scooped up the loose ball.

Mostly, though, McNabb and Co. were in control and demonstrated signs of being ahead of the curve as they were competing in their third preseason game as compared to the Ravens' second outing.

"Donovan is good, plays with great poise," Ryan said. "Give him some credit. He's very good."

TRAINING ROOM: Offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, who remains on the physically unable to perform list following his father's death, didn't play along with wide receiver Matt Cherry (dislocated shoulder), tight end Rob Abiamiri (calf), safety B.J. Ward (migraines) and offensive guard Brian Rimpf (pulled hamstring). The Ravens also held out wide receiver Clarence Moore (sports hernia) and safety Steve Paris (groin).

Adam Terry started in place of Ogden at left tackle.

The Eagles held out several players, including running back Brian Westbrook, wide receiver Todd Pinkston, defensive end Jerome McDougle and defensive tackle Darwin Walker. Plus, they were without linebackers Greg Richmond and Chris Gocong, offensive guards Adrian Clarke and Scott Young and offensive tackle Calvin Armstrong.

FULLBACK COMPETITION: Justin Green started, but Ovie Mughelli threw several punishing blocks to seal off defenders from running back Jamal Lewis in the first half.

Lewis wasn't quite as effective as he was last week, though, overall.

He was held to 27 yards on nine carries, a 3.0 average per carry.

PUNTER WATCH: The Ravens started rookie Sam Koch, their fifth-round draft pick out of Nebraska. He punted punted four times, averaging 39.8 yards. Veteran Leo Araguz punted once for 42 yards.
QUICK HITS: Dwan Edwards led the Ravens with six tackles. ... Terrell Suggs had a sack along with Mike Smith, Ryan LaCasse and Jamaine Winborne.

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times


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