The Baltimore Ravens traveled to Philadelphia on Sunday to take on the Eagles. Baltimore was hoping to put a string of recent sub par week two performances to rest. Unfortunately the Ravens played a frustrating second half on offense and defense and ultimately lost 24-23. The loss moved the Ravens' record to 1-1 on the season and left fans scratching their heads.
The Ravens' week two struggles have become all too familiar for Baltimore fans. Last season the Ravens followed up a thorough week one drubbing of the hated Steelers with a confounding road loss to the inferior Tennessee Titans. The Ravens' inconsistency on offense as well as some defensive lapses against the Eagles spelled for another frustrating week two defeat.
Baltimore led the game 17-7 at the half. Ravens' QB Joe Flacco threw an interception on the first possession of the second half and the Baltimore offense went downhill from there. An array of three and outs and errant passes followed as the Ravens allowed the Eagles to creep back into the game. Bernard Pollard, Baltimore's strong safety, left the game due to injury early in the second half. Pollard's absence sent the Ravens defensive backfield into disarray as Eagles' TE Brent Celek ran free for most of the afternoon. Celek had a huge game hauling in eight catches for 157 yards.
Despite their struggles the Ravens seemingly put the game out of reach midway through the fourth quarter with a long touchdown pass down the right sideline from Joe Flacco to Jacoby Jones. Unfortunately Jones was flagged for a phantom offensive pass interference call and the points were taken off the board. The Ravens had to settle for a long field goal after Flacco was sacked on the next play. Rookie kicker Justin Tucker drilled a 51 yard field goal, after hitting from 56 yards earlier in the game, to give Baltimore a 23-17 lead.
Eagles' QB Mike Vick quickly led his squad down the field against the Baltimore defense. The league's replacement referees missed an obvious intentional grounding call on Vick and the QB scored a rushing touchdown on the next play to give Philadelphia the lead at 24-23. Baltimore's last drive fell short when Flacco's fourth and two pass sailed over Ray Rice's head.
The Ravens will look to bounce back next Sunday when the play host to the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football. The Ravens will be motivated to atone for last season's loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. New England will likely be without TE Aaron Hernandez who was injured in Sunday's loss to the Cardinals.
*Information gathered from http://www.nfl.com.
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