AFC North: Eagles-Ravens

Rapid Reaction: Ravens 36, Eagles 7

November, 23, 2008
11/23/08
4:28
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

BALTIMORE -- There should be a new unwritten rule in the NFL: Never make a mid-game quarterback change from a veteran to an inexperienced backup against the Baltimore Ravens' defense.

The Philadelphia Eagles went against conventional wisdom and paid for it dearly Sunday during a 36-7 blowout defeat to the Ravens. Eagles coach Andy Reid benched starting quarterback Donovan McNabb (two interceptions, one fumble) at halftime with the Ravens leading 10-7.

Second-year backup Kevin Kolb (two interceptions) came in and struggled mightily, as a three-point deficit at intermission quickly ballooned in the second half. The final nail was a 108-yard interception return by Ravens safety Ed Reed that was the longest in NFL history.

While the Eagles (5-5-1) are surely in turmoil, the Ravens have continued their stability this season. Baltimore is now 7-4 with a chance to further pad its record next week against the Cincinnati Bengals (1-9-1).

Ravens, Eagles halftime notes

November, 23, 2008
11/23/08
2:45
PM ET
 
 James Lang/US Presswire
 Donovan McNabb had a rough first half against the Ravens.

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

BALTIMORE -- If you like odd games, this is the one for you.

After two quarters of football, the Baltimore Ravens lead the Philadelphia Eagles 10-7 at M&T Bank Stadium. There have been three turnovers, an illegal forward pass and a 100-yard kickoff return in a wild first half.

Here are some observations:

  • Baltimore's offense has been fairly predictable in the first half. The Ravens are running on most first downs and the Eagles are run blitzing, leading to very little yardage and long second-and-distance situations. Three turnovers from Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb have led to 10 Baltimore points.
  • The Eagles' offense continues to struggle on short distances. Dating to last week's game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia has thrown the ball five straight times on third-and-1 and the Eagles didn't convert on any of the attempts.
  • The Eagles' 100-yard return by Quintin Demps was the longest kickoff return allowed in Baltimore Ravens history. The return also was timely, because it came with under two minutes to go in the first half and after the Ravens took a 10-0 lead.
  • There have been numerous injuries in the first half. For the Eagles, running back Correll Buckhalter injured his knee and his return is questionable. Ravens tackle Adam Terry also received a concussion in the second quarter and his return was listed as questionable.

Ravens containing McNabb

November, 23, 2008
11/23/08
1:54
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

BALTIMORE -- It is probably a good thing that Donovan McNabb is playing on the road Sunday.

The Philadelphia Eagles' starting quarterback is off to an awful start.

McNabb already has two turnovers in the first half with an interception and a fumble against the Baltimore Ravens. That drives his total to six turnovers in the past six quarters, dating to last week's tie with the Cincinnati Bengals.

But Philadelphia's defense is playing well and also keeping the Ravens off the scoreboard early. So McNabb's struggles thus far are not magnified.

Eagles trying no huddle vs. Ravens

November, 23, 2008
11/23/08
1:16
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

BALTIMORE -- The Philadelphia Eagles are tying to a new wrinkle to confuse the Baltimore Ravens' defense.

Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb began the game with a no-huddle offense in Sunday's game at M&T Bank Stadium. Philadelphia had some success but the opening drive stalled at midfield.

The Eagles only scored 13 points in last week's tie to the Cincinnati Bengals, so this could be an attempt to get McNabb and the offense jump-started once again. Let's see if the Eagles run the no huddle for the long haul Sunday or get away from it after a couple drives.

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