The Baltimore Ravens finally fully unleashed Lamar Jackson in the second half Sunday, as the reigning MVP's 37-yard touchdown run capped off an eight-carry, 109-yard performance to lead the Ravens in a thrilling 30-28 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Eagles looked dead in the water before a frantic fourth quarter rally that resulted in Carson Wentz leading the team to two touchdowns in a 1:53 stretch. Down 30-14 with 3:48 to play, Wentz found Travis Fulgham for a 18-yard touchdown, then Philadelphia converted the two-point attempt to cut the deficit to 30-22. After forcing a three-and-out, Wentz led the Eagles on a four-play, 71-yard drive that resulted in a quarterback sneak for the touchdown, cutting the Ravens' lead to 30-28 with 1:55 left. Wentz tried to run in the conversion attempt for the tie but was stopped short of the goal line. Jackson sealed the Ravens' victory with a 21-yard run in the final minute to run the clock out.
Jackson was just 16 of 27 for 188 yards throwing the football, with his seven-yard touchdown pass to Nick Boyle in the first quarter ultimately giving the Ravens the lead for good. Baltimore jumped out to an early 17-0 lead in a game where the Ravens defense put up a performance that rivaled last week's dominant victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. The Ravens finished with three forced fumbles, 16 quarterback hits, and six sacks -- Calais Campbell notched three of them -- making life hectic for Wentz and the Eagles offense. Baltimore held Philadelphia to minus-7 yards on 16 plays during the Eagles' first six possessions, as the Ravens had three sacks, five quarterback hits and a forced fumble in jumping out to a lead Philadelphia couldn't recover from.
The Eagles offense showed signs of life in the second half, the highlight being a 75-yard run by Miles Sanders where the running back fumbled about five yards away from the goal line and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside recovered the ball in the end zone. Wentz threw a touchdown pass to Jason Croom to cut Baltimore's lead to 24-14 in the fourth quarter, but Jackson led the Ravens on back-to-back scoring drives as Justin Tucker hit field goals of 55 and 46 yards in the second half.
Philadelphia suffered several injuries to key offensive players as Sanders -- who finished with nine carries for 119 yards -- Zach Ertz and Jack Driscoll (starting in place of the injured Lane Johnson) left the game with various ailments. Wentz threw for 213 yards and two touchdowns but fumbled for the fifth time in six games this season.
Philadelphia is off to its worst start since 1998, when the Eagles finished 3-13 and last in the NFC East. Baltimore is off to its best start since 2012, when the Ravens won the Super Bowl.
Why the Ravens won
The Ravens defense delivered a dominant performance early, but the team was able to hold off the Eagles thanks to the legs of Lamar Jackson. Jackson had his first 100-yard game of the season, including a 37-yard touchdown run that put Baltimore up 24-6 with 4:35 left in the third quarter -- which ended up being too large a deficit for Philadelphia to overcome. Jackson sealed the win with a 21-yard run in the final minute to get the first down the Ravens needed and prevent the Eagles from getting the ball back. The Ravens only ran Jackson eight times, but it was enough to get the win.
Why the Eagles lost
Another slow start for the Eagles cost them in this one, not getting a first down until the 5:32 mark in the second quarter on a Jalen Hurts 20-yard run. Hurts was the only sign of life early in the game for the Eagles offense, which started with five three-and-outs, 16 plays that resulted in minus-7 yards, and a fumble by Carson Wentz that gave the Ravens excellent field position deep in Philadelphia territory. The Eagles averaged 10.8 yards per carry and had 371 yards and 28 points in the final 25:32, but that wasn't enough to catch Baltimore. They have to start faster.
Jackson couldn't do much with his arm, but the Ravens quarterback finished with eight carries for 109 yards on the afternoon, posting his first 100-yard rushing game of the season. This 37-yard touchdown run is a testament to Jackson's speed and ability, as he went untouched into the end zone.
The Ravens are 21-0 when they lead by 10-plus points under Jackson. This touchdown effectively sealed it, despite the Eagles comeback.
Play of the game
Lamar Jackson is inhuman when it comes to certain plays, and his lone touchdown pass of the day was definitely worth repeating over and over. Jackson rolled to his right and faked out a few Eagles defenders in the red zone before flipping the football to Nick Boyle for the touchdown as the Ravens took a 7-0 lead.
Brandon Graham had two sacks on Jackson in the game, but the Eagles defensive end was no match for him here. Just a tip of the cap to Jackson on good defense by the Eagles.
The Eagles host the Giants on a short week for "Thursday Night Football" while the Ravens are on a bye week. Baltimore hosts Pittsburgh with first place in the AFC North on the line in Week 8.