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Vick Leads Another Late Drive as Defense Showed Up Big in 24-23 Win Over Ravens

Sep 16, 2012, 5:33 PM EDT

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This was a heavyweight fight. The Eagles came out swinging and landed
the bout’s first blow, but they dropped their guard and took a few on
the chin. They picked themselves up off the mat though, trading punches
back and forth until the final bell sounded. When the dust settled, the
Eagles had their arms held high in the air, winning 24-23 on the final
scorecard.

It wasn’t pretty, but the Eagles beat a great team
today in the Ravens. The atmosphere was chippy, with numerous scrums
breaking out after the whistle. The action was brutal, injuries taking
their toll on the roster. They turned the ball over four times, but the
defense held more often than not. And for the second week in a row, a
battered Michael Vick demonstrated a resilience too often this team
lacked a season ago.

It was the type of battle that could define what this group is all about.

The
end was eerily reminiscent to last week’s victory in Cleveland. Vick
once more led a late fourth-quarter scoring drive, this time going 80
yards in 10 plays before diving across the goal line for six on a
designed run with 1:55 remaining. And once again, the defense took the
field and refused to give it right back, forcing the Ravens to turn the
ball over on downs to put this one on ice.

Vick connected on 23
of 32 passes for 371 yards, a score, and two picks, and added 34 yards
on 10 rushing attempts. Big plays were there in the passing game, with
Brent Celek running wild for eight catches and 157 yards, with a
complimentary seven for 114 from DeSean Jackson. Andy Reid used his
workhorse too, handing off to LeSean McCoy 25 times for 81 yards and a
TD.

[Eagles Highlight of the Game: Brent Celek Hurdles Ed Reed | Brent Celek Is a Boss]

Joe Flacco and Ray Rice worked over the Birds’ D early, but
they locked it down in the second half, holding Baltimore to a pair of
field goals. The defensive line was surprisingly kept in check, but the
back seven picked up the slack, particularly DeMeco Ryans. Ryans came to
play for the second week in a row, coming up with a huge third-quarter
interception to swing the momentum, and a fourth-quarter sack with the
Ravens driving. Trent Cole also worked a strip-sack in the first
quarter.

However, the win did come at a price. Jason Kelce left
the game on a cart with a bad-looking knee injury, which was followed in
short time by King Dunlap coming up limping. Neither would return,
replaced by Dallas Reynolds and Demetress Bell. Then Jeremy Maclin was
lost for the afternoon, again from a hip pointer. He was listed as
questionable entering the game with the same injury.

Still,
the big story here is the Eagles won the game, and this time facing an
opponent that commands respect. Seeing that last week’s late score and
defensive stand were not flukes has to make you feel a lot better about
the win in Cleveland, and about the makeup of this team in general.
There are plenty of issues to sort out, but Philadelphia is 2-0, and
looking far more legit with today’s performance.

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