Wilcox makes most of it

The Baltimore Sun

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

Rookie Jameel McClain became the first player in franchise history to post two safeties in a season when he blocked a punt by Sav Rocca and the ball went out of bounds in the third quarter. "I didn't have any in college," said McClain, a Syracuse alumnus who sacked the Raiders' JaMarcus Russell in the end zone Oct. 26. "I guess I'm getting them all in the NFL." ... Linebackers Ray Lewis and Brendon Ayanbadejo and cornerback Samari Rolle gave coach John Harbaugh a Gatorade shower after Harbaugh beat his former employer. Said Harbaugh: "There's no way to describe it. It was meaningful to look across, seeing [coach] Andy Reid and [defensive coordinator Jim] Johnson because I have so much respect for them." ... Defensive end Trevor Pryce and offensive tackle Adam Terry suffered concussions and did not return to the game. The Ravens deactivated defensive tackles Lamar Divens (shoulder) and Brandon McKinney, wide receivers Terrance Copper and Marcus Maxwell, offensive tackle Oniel Cousins, tight end Edgar Jones and cornerback Evan Oglesby. Todd Bouman was the third (emergency) quarterback. ... Flacco's scoring pass to Wilcox was the Ravens' first conversion on third down. The offense had gone 0-for-7 before the score. The Ravens, who had ranked ninth in the league with a 44.3 percent success mark on third downs, finished the game with a 5-for-17 conversion rate (29.4 percent) on third down. ... The 100-yard kickoff return by Eagles rookie Quintin Demps was the longest surrendered by the Ravens. ... Eagles defensive end Victor Abiamiri, a former standout at Gilman, recorded a sack in the second quarter. ... The announced attendance of 71,379 at yesterday's game was the second-largest in Baltimore history.

hey, jamison!

Each week, Baltimore Sun reporter Jamison Hensley will answer questions about the Ravens. To submit a question, e-mail sports@baltsun.com. Give your name and phone number so we can verify the e-mail.

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