Was it me or did Andy Reid look like a coach who wants to be fired today?
Trailing 10-7, Reid hit the panic button and started the 3rd quarter by exchanging his Hall-of-Very-Good quarterback for a second year scrub who made Kyle Boller look like Tom Brady. The end result was a 36-7 pasting applied by the Ravens, who certainly didn’t look the part in the first 30 minutes of play, only to rebound in the second half with an efficient performance by Joe Flacco and a ferocious defensive display capped off by an Ed Reed return for a TD on what had to be the worst play call of the century by the Eagles.
Philadelphia football fans can make plans for a January cruise or a golf vacation in the south…their football team will be home come playoff time. That’s not a low blow — it’s just a fact.
The Ravens looked ripe for the taking early on today.
Philadelphia looked ripe for last place by the end of the day.
It was truly a game of two halves, as Baltimore stumbled and bumbled their way through the first two quarters, aided mainly by three turnovers and a disappearing act from Brian Westbrook, who vanished like a prop in a David Copperfield show. At one point late in the second quarter, I openly wondered if either team could hang with the James Madison offense I saw ring up 58 easy points on Towson yesterday.
In the second half, though, the Ravens offense appeared out of nowhere and when Reid caved in by benching Donovan McNabb and inserting Kevin Kolb, the rout was on.
Reid even tried to challenge two plays that aren’t allowed by rule to be challenged.
What the hell…if your coaching decisions don’t work, you can always try to buffalo the referees. As we’ve seen from time to time this year, they don’t know all the rules either.
But nothing worked for Philadelphia today.
And the Ravens defense made them pay dearly.
Down 22-7 with 9 minutes to go in the game, the Eagles mounted their best drive of the day and took the ball down to the Baltimore one yard line with first and goal. After a run produced no yards, the Eagles tried a pass, which Kolb promptly threw in the end zone to Ed Reed – who then avoided three arm-tackles and two other half-hearted efforts from would-be pursuers and #20 lugged into the end zone with the crushing blow and a 29-7 advantage. Why throw a pass there? On 2nd and 1? I’m sure thousands and thousands of Philadelphia fans wondered the same thing at that very moment. It was stupid. And costly.
A Baltimore team that was humbled by a blow-out in the Meadowlands last Sunday took out a week’s worth of revenge on the Eagles, as nearly everyone got in on the act. Flacco threw for 2 TD’s, Le’Ron McClain had a career day carrying the ball, Ed Reed had two picks and a TD and Dan Wilcox and Mark Clayton both collected their 2nd TD’s of the year. And even Matt Stover – yes, the “washed up one” – showed he still has some ability left in his right leg with a pair of FG’s (42, 44) that will silence his detractors until he misses a 49-yarder next week in Cincinnati.
And John Harbaugh beat his former coach.
Actually, his former coach beat himself.
It will be fun in Baltimore this week as the Ravens prepare for a trip to Cincinnati.
It will be hell in Philadelphia.
I’d rather it be that way than the other way around.