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August 22, 2019

Final observations: Ravens 26, Eagles 15

After a miserable first half that saw them return to the locker room trailing 26-0, the Eagles bounced back in a big way and looked like they were going to have a chance at pulling off the improbable comeback before Mother Nature decided she had other plans.

Unlike the first half observations, these are a bit more on the positive side since, you know, the Eagles actually decided to score some points in the final 18 minutes and 17 seconds. That's right, the second half was only 18-plus minutes long after the game was delayed due to lightning early in the fourth quarter. The final score would be 26-15.

Mercifully, instead of making us sit through a delay of at least 30 minutes, both sides decided that it would be better to just call the game. Still, we have some observations. 

Here's a look at the good, bad and ugly from the second half of the Eagles' penultimate preseason game...


•  Eagles allowed four straight scoring drives to end the first half, capped off by touchdowns on each of the Ravens' final three possessions. But they nipped that in the bud on the first drive of the second half, forcing Baltimore to go three and out, including two tackles for loss (one each by L.J. Fort and Alex Singleton). 

That carried over to their second defensive appearance of the half, as the Eagles D forced another three-and-out by Trace McSorley and the Ravens offense. On third down, Daeshon Hall got some nice pressure to force McSorley into a throw, and Jeremiah McKinnon broke up the pass just beyond the sticks.

And it didn't stop there, as the Eagles defense came up with their third-straight three-and-out to open the second half after that terrible end to the first half. 

•  Josh McCown's night wasn't over after playing a quarter-plus in the first half, as he was still behind center as the offense took the field in the second half. He connected with nice first-down passes to Mack Hollins and Greg Ward (on a 3rd and 5) on the Birds' first drive. But the best was yet to come.

After J.J. Arcega-Whiteside was called for an offensive pass-interference on 3rd and goal from the five that backed the Eagles up to the 20, McCown connected with JJAW again — they looked to be in sync in the first half as well — for the touchdown to put the Eagles on the board for the first time all night. 

Not only was it a beautiful ball from McCown, who seemed to improve on each drive, it was a great response from the rookie after being hit with the penalty on the play before. 

•  After failing in spectacular fashion on a fourth-down attempt on his own side of the field, he opted to try again just over midfield in the second half. On 4th and 2, McCown dropped back and found — guess who? — J.J. Arcega-Whiteside for a 35 yard reception. 

And JJAW had himself a game, lighting it up once McCown stepped on the field. He finished with eight catches for 108 yards and a touchdown.

•  Later on that same drive, McCown tossed another touchdown on the following drive, this one to Alex Ellis for nine yards. 

Despite signing with the Birds less than a week ago, he finished 17-of-24 for 192 yards and two touchdowns in two quarters of actions (after starting 0-for-3 with a sack and a fumble) — and I don't think it's a stretch to say he likely have ended Cody Kessler's Eagles career with his performance against the Ravens. 

•  Josh Adams started the second half at running back for the Eagles, and had a few nice touches, including an 18-yard catch-and-run to help set up the Eagles' second score of the night. Following the touchdown (and a penalty to move the point-after attempt up to the one), Adams ran it in for the two-point conversion to cut the Ravens lead to 26-15. In an abbreviated appearance, Adams finished just seven carries for 18 yards but also added that 18-yard reception.


•  Adams' had some positives, but he also had a really bad one as well, dropping a wide open would-be touchdown pass from McCown. Ultimately, it didn't wind up hurting them as the Eagles scored a touchdown a few plays later.

•  After two straight scoring drives to open the second half, Clayton Thorson took. Coincidentally, the Eagles went three and out on their next possession. Then the lightning came.


•  So. Many. Penalties.

It seemed like every other play there was some laundry on the field. The two teams combined for 24 penalties for 188 yards and the Eagles finished with 15 for 115 on their own.

•  With only scrubs left in the game, lightning in South Philly caused the game to be stopped with 11:43 left in the game. That meant a mandatory 30 minute weather delay as well as a 30-minute delay on Matt finishing his work for the night. The regular season can't get here soon enough. 

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