NFL Nation: Eagles-Ravens
Has the Donovan McNabb era in Philly come to a shocking close? Stay tuned. Eagles coach Andy Reid, one of McNabb's biggest defenders over the years, pulled him at the half after McNabb fumbled once and threw two interceptions.
It was a surprising move -- especially since the Eagles were only trailing by three points at the time. Reid didn't say who would start against the Cardinals on Thursday, but it's too late to turn back now. He basically pulled the carpet out from under McNabb. Even if he goes back to him Thursday, it's not like McNabb will ever trust him again.
McNabb's replacement, Kevin Kolb, didn't fare much better in the second half, throwing two interceptions of his own. But it was certainly a tough spot. You need to see him with a full week of practice before you can pass judgment on how he plays.
What led the stubborn Reid to make such a huge decision? Maybe we'll find out Monday. On Sunday, he didn't say anything too revealing. As bad as McNabb has been, no one saw this coming. Kolb was impressive in training camp and in the offseason, but no one expected him to push McNabb this season.
This team is awful right now. The Eagles don't have anything that resembles a running game and their receiving corps is pretty nondescript. Reid's move will have ripple effects in the organization. And if you see massive changes after the season, remember today's date. It's not like the Ravens were brilliant on offense -- rookie Joe Flacco was 12 of 26 -- but their defense made huge plays.
We can now unofficially eliminate the Eagles (5-5-1) from the playoff hunt. The sun will come up in Philly on Monday. But you'll have a tough time convincing the Eagles' fan base of that.
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).
|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.
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