In the early game, the Baltimore defense smothered the Miami Dolphins offensive attack as expected, forcing quarterback Chad Pennington into four interceptions and holding Miami to just 52 yards on the ground. And that pretty much sums up the entire contest, which ended in a 27-9 Ravens win.
Rookie quarterback Joe Flacco didn't exactly tear things up either, going just 9-of-23 for 135 yards. But he avoided the critical mistakes that consistently put Miami in a bind. Plus the Ravens were able to make up for the lack of yardage through the air with a solid rushing performance spearheaded by both Le'Ron McClain and Willis McGahee. The net result was a relatively easy win on enemy soil.
The Eagles contest with the Minnesota Vikings also turned out as we expected with inexperienced quarterback Tavaris Jackson unable to handle Philadelphia's attacking defense. He completed just 15-of-35 passes for 164 yards and threw a very costly interception in the second quarter that was returned for a touchdown by cornerback Asante Samuel.
Despite Jackson's ineffectiveness, the Vikings remained within two points with just seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. It was a breakdown on defense, however, that ultimately put the game out of reach as running back Brian Westbrook took a screen pass from Donovan McNabb 71 yards for a touchdown. The score put the Eagles up by nine points. A field goal later in the quarter closed out the scoring and stretched the margin to 26-14.
Also key in this contest was the way Philadelphia's defense shut down running back Adrian Peterson in the second half. After allowing 83 yards and two touchdowns to the league's leading rusher in the first half, the Eagles held him to just 17 yards on eight carries in the second half.