In a very intense matchup of Super Bowl hopefuls, the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles fought to the last minute on a sunny day in Philadelphia.
The Ravens had complete control throughout the game while forcing costly turnovers in their own half of the field.
A rivalry has been sparked as it was a very gritty game with a lot of extra pushing and shoving after the whistle.
A stagnant second half by the Ravens allowed the Eagles to creep their way back into the game and come out victorious at the end.
The replacement referees had a poor performance overall while stopping the game numerous times to have meetings and figure out what was the right call.
I believe it ruined the flow of the game and did not allow the teams to continue a rhythm throughout the contest. A 17-7 halftime lead for the Ravens after rookie kicker Justin tucker hit a franchise record-tying field goal from 56 yards out.
The Ravens had a slow start to the second half with two punts and an interception which allowed the Eagles to tie the game at 17. Two more field goals by Tucker saw the ravens up 23-17 with 4:43 left.
Michael Vick then led the Eagles down the field and scored a one-yard rushing touchdown on 3rd and goal with 1:55 left. It was a huge play as the performance came full circle for Vick after a few turnovers saw his team down the whole game until his touchdown in the last minute.
Flacco tried to lead the Ravens down the field for a game-winning field goal. However, great pressure by the Eagles pass rushers and poor play-calling allowed the Eagles to stop the Ravens on 4th and 2 on the Ravens' 42 yard line.
The Eagles' players and fans rejoiced as they saw their team go to a surprising 2-0 after a total of nine turnovers in the first two games of the season.
HERO: EAGLES MIDDLE LINEBACKER DEMECO RYANS
The new starting middle linebacker for the Eagles showed great leadership and why the team traded for the former Pro Bowler in the offseason. He played for the Houston Texans his first six seasons in the league and had great numbers while being the captain of their defense.
While the weakness on the Eagles' defense last season was the linebacking corps, the front office made a trade for Ryans and drafted Mychal Kendricks out of Cal to improve the unit immediately.
Ryans did not have a great game in the first week of the season vs. the Cleveland Browns but stepped up and had an MVP performance in the second week vs. a great team in the Baltimore Ravens.
DeMeco Ryans finished the game with seven tackles, one sack, one interception, two tackles for loss, and one pass deflection. Overall having a great game while having his physical presence felt on almost every defensive down for the Eagles.
He immediately has the respect and trust of his teammates while becoming an instant leader of a solid defense. The Eagles' fans and front office must be ecstatic after his performance and hope he can continue this sort of play throughout the rigorous schedule of the NFL season.
Other candidates: Philadelphia tight end Brent Celek, Philadelphia wide receiver DeSean Jackson, Baltimore running back Ray Rice, Baltimore safety Bernard Pollard
ZERO: RAVENS OFFENSIVE COORDINATOR CAM CAMERON
Going into the new season there was a lot of talk of the Ravens' new offensive philosophy with its no-huddle approach. It worked great in the first game when they played the Cincinnati Bengals at home on Monday Night Football.
Unfortunately, the same success was not apparent in the second game of the season vs. the Eagles in Philadelphia. The Ravens had an efficient first half and had a 17-7 lead while barely having the ball. The Eagles controlled the clock for most of the half only to see their long drives result in turnovers.
The second half however, was a completely different story. Baltimore looked sloppy and could not get into an offensive rhythm. The play-calling by Cam Cameron was not as diverse as it usually is and I thought they should have ran the ball more than they did.
Ray Rice had a total of 16 carries for 99 yards with a 6.2 yards per carry average. When the Ravens were leading in the fourth and needed to milk the clock, the Ravens had three straight incomplete passes for a three and out.
The second half passing plays were completely snuffed out by the Eagles' defensive backs as they were mostly out-routes with inaccurate throws by Joe Flacco. That being said, the replacement referees only called one defensive holding against the Eagles' defensive backs when there were at least eight.
When the Eagles took the lead 24-23 with 1:55, Baltimore had a chance to drive down the field for a game-winning field goal to seal a game that they controlled from the opening kick-off. It didn’t happen.
The offense was stopped on a 4th and 2 and lost a game that they virtually gave away in the second half.
Cam Cameron has had a great career at Baltimore as the offensive coordinator, but he must mix up the offensive play-calls towards the end of games and feed Ray Rice.
Other candidates: Baltimore offensive line, Baltimore cornerback Cary Williams, Philadelphia running back LeSean McCoy