Ravens Squeak by Eagles

On the night former Ravens QB Randall Cunningham retired as an Eagle, the Ravens escaped without any injuries and a scant preseason victory. The QB would be the position of the night for both sides, as both teams enjoyed some glittering performances.

You could call the battle to be the signal caller for the Baltimore Ravens a stalemate at this point.  Chris Redman debuted with the starters, and would flip flop with Jeff Blake throughout the game.  Redman had excellent numbers, going 9 for 15 for 150 yards, and one interception, which was tipped, and no fault of Redman's.  Blake would go 6 for 12 for 92 yards and a touchdown to a wide open Javin Hunter on an excellent playfake, where the defense would bite hard.  Both showed ability to lead, though most of Redman's yards were collected on the first team Eagle defense, while Blake would dominate the Eagle backups.  The Eagle quarterbacks were not without their own sterling performances, but this writer assumes his target audience could care less about the Eagles' gunners.

The offensive line played better in this matchup then the last, gelling as the game moved on and began to pick up blitzes in a much improved fashion.  The runners they blocked for were less than impressive early on, as Chester Taylor would only gain 23 yards on 13 carries.  Tellis Redmon lost the butterfingers he developed last week, and ran for 37 yards on 7 carries.The receivers would finally get the picture, as many of them would put up some nice numbers. 

Incumbent starter Travis Taylor would take 59 yards on 4 grabs, while Todd Heap would gain 55 yards on only 3 catches.  Other notables would include Brandon Stokley(3 for 41), Ron Johnson(2 for 39), and Javin Hunter(2 for 33) who also hauled in a touchdown pass.The defense would start Friday's game looking slow, but would settle down as the game drew on.  Donovan McNabb would frustrate the Ravens, making some superb plays with his arm, and with his legs. 

The defensive line was lackluster, as the Eagles would run at will, and McNabb was under no pressure to begin the game.  The linebackers were adequate, continuing the trend they have established over the last 3 years.  The secondary was disappointing, as Alvin Porter was burned again, and McAlister gave his receivers too much of a cushion. 

The Eagles moved the ball at will to start, but would grind to a screeching halt until the final drive, in which Tim Hasselbeck would drive the Eagles to a disputed touchdown. Unfortunately for Eagles fans, Rod Smart, otherwise known as He Hate Me of XFL fame, would drop a sure catch for the 2 point conversion.  This, combined with a failed onside kick attempt would seal the Eagles fate, and secure a win for the Baltimore Ravens, bringing their preseason record to 2-1.

The final game of the preseason for the Ravens is on Thursday in New Jersey, as they will take on the Giants.

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