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McNair sharp in Ravens' win over Eagles

The Baltimore Ravens had just opened the preseason with a rout of the Philadelphia Eagles, and coach Brian Billick delightedly counted down all the positives. "Really, really solid start.

BALTIMORE (Aug. 13, 2007) -- The Baltimore Ravens had just opened the preseason with a rout of the Philadelphia Eagles, and coach Brian Billick delightedly counted down all the positives.

"Really, really solid start. The things I'm most pleased about: One, no injuries. No. 2, no turnovers and only three penalties," Billick said. "That's pretty unique for a first preseason game. I was pretty pleased with the way the guys handled themselves in their first outing."

Steve McNair took Baltimore 93 yards to a touchdown on his only drive of the game, and the Ravens dominated the Eagles' depleted offense in a 29-3 victory.

The Eagles played without quarterback Donovan McNabb, who had surgery on a torn ligament in his right knee on Nov. 28. Coach Andy Reid said McNabb would make his preseason debut Friday night in Philadelphia's second preseason game, at home against Carolina.

In contrast to Billick, Reid spoke stoically about his team's performance. The fact that the Eagles played without several starters tempered his emotion, but there was no masking his displeasure.

"It was not a very good performance, all the way around, from the first unit down to the last unit," Reid said, measuring his words carefully. "We got to see some young guys play and we'll be able to evaluate them."

The Eagles were penalized six times, lost two fumbles and did not escape injury. Running back Ryan Moats fractured his ankle and will probably be lost for the season; defensive end Jerome McDougle strained his triceps; and defensive tackle LaJuan Ramsey sustained a high ankle sprain.

Reid was almost as disappointed with the way the Eagles opened the game. After making one first down before punting, Philadelphia allowed McNair and the Ravens to move at will into the end zone.

"Maybe their motors were going too aggressively in the beginning there, getting themselves out of position," Reid said of his defense. "Then they settled down and did pretty good. But you can't start the game off that way."

McNair went 6-for-8 for 73 yards, including a 6-yard TD pass to tight end Quinn Sypniewski, in Baltimore's opening march. Now in his second year with the Ravens, the 34-year-old McNair took a seat after the 12-play drive.

"Obviously, Steve now compared to last year -- where he was still learning the verbiage -- has a complete grasp of what we're doing. And we have a much better feel for what Steve can do well," Billick said.

McNair said, "We wanted to start fast. We did a lot of things. We ran the football, we threw the football. Most important, we kept them off-balance."

McNair's backup, Kyle Boller, went 7-for-12 for 40 yards.

Troy Smith, the 2006 Heisman Trophy winner, completed three of 11 passes for 34 yards and ran once for 13 yards. Smith is competing for the third-string job against Drew Olson, who threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Le'Ron McClain that made it 23-3 with 11:55 to go.

Willis McGahee, obtained during the offseason in a trade with Buffalo, had a 16-yard run during the opening drive before leaving with McNair and the first-team offense.

After finishing with 20 yards on four carries, McGahee said, "I still need to get comfortable with what the guys are doing up front. Other than that, it was good for a start."

Matt Stover made all five field goal tries for the Ravens, two from 50 yards. The 39-year-old is entering his 18th pro season.

Baltimore, which ranked No. 1 in the NFL in defense last season, had four sacks in the first half and limited the Eagles to 103 yards over the first 30 minutes.

McNabb's backup, A.J. Feeley, played two series. He went 5-for-7 for 56 yards and took the Eagles into field goal position before David Akers was wide right on a 43-yard attempt.

Kelly Holcomb went 7-for-9 for 75 yards. Kevin Kolb, Philadelphia's top draft pick, played the entire second half and was 11-for-20 for 77 yards.

Notes: Brian Westbrook gained 4 yards on three carries, and the Eagles had 14 yards rushing on 11 attempts in the first half. ... Sypniewski's two catches in the first quarter equaled his output for his rookie season. ... The Ravens are 7-3 in the preseason vs. Philadelphia.

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