Wilcox makes most of it

RAVENS NOTEBOOK

Tight end grabs second touchdown on fifth reception

J. McClain sets team record by forcing second safety

November 24, 2008|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,edward.lee@baltsun.com

It seems like all Daniel Wilcox does is catch touchdown passes.

The tight end has just five receptions for 19 yards this season, but two of them have been in the end zone. His latest score occurred yesterday when he came down with a 1-yard scoring pass late in the second quarter of the Ravens' 36-7 win against the Philadelphia Eagles.

"That's what they keep telling me, that all I do is catch touchdowns," said Wilcox, who had been deactivated the previous three games because of a thigh injury and illness. "I only had one catch today, but it was for a touchdown and I'll take it. I'll take it either way it goes. If they're going to keep throwing me one ball a game, I pray it's all touchdowns."

Wilcox's touchdown was the Ravens' first yesterday and helped give the team breathing room in the first half.

On third-and-goal from the Eagles' 1-yard line, rookie quarterback Joe Flacco faked a handoff and rolled to his right. His pass to Wilcox appeared at first to be overthrown, but Wilcox tapped the football down with his left hand and cradled it before stepping out of bounds with 1:49 left in the quarter.

The play withstood a review by the replay official and gave the Ravens a 10-0 lead.

"He threw it kind of hard and kind of too far in front of me," Wilcox said with a smile. "The dude grabbed my arm to try to keep me from catching the ball. I just stuck my left arm up, and I felt that God was with me."

L. McClain delivers

With tailbacks Willis McGahee and Ray Rice limited to a combined 15 yards on 15 carries, fullback Le'Ron McClain paced the offense with 88 yards on 18 rushes and a touchdown and used his bruising style to pound the Eagles' defense into submission.

"I knew that if I just do what I do - run north-south and get all those guys because you know that they have a small defense - they'll wear down a little bit," said McClain, who has led the team in rushing four times this season. "That's just my mentality with any team."

All-out effort

Linebacker Jarret Johnson pulled off a rare trifecta on a single play when he sacked the Eagles' Donovan McNabb, dislodged the football from the quarterback and snatched the ball out of midair early in the second quarter.

"As a rusher, you know if he steps up too far to grab, he's going to bring [the ball] back," said Johnson, who finished with six tackles (four solo), 1 1/2 sacks and a tackle for a loss. "I just reached in and was able to get it up in the air and caught it and ran with it."

Acrobatic Clayton

Wide receiver Mark Clayton caught just two passes yesterday, but one was a 53-yard touchdown on a slant route called by quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson early in the fourth quarter.

"The defense pretty much all jumped [a route by tight end Todd] Heap, and it was just a sprint to the goal line," said Clayton, who had 76 receiving yards. "The acrobatic flip was probably the worst celebration ever. It probably won't happen again."

Washington's pick

After his interception against the New York Giants was wiped out by penalty last week and after he nearly made another one against the Oakland Raiders, cornerback Fabian Washington picked off McNabb in the second quarter to record his first since coming to the Ravens from Oakland in a draft-day trade in the offseason.

"It took too long," Washington joked. "I'm finally glad to get off that bubble. I haven't had a bubble in my career since my rookie year. We left a few picks out there, but hopefully, we saved them for Cincy [next Sunday]."

End zone

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