The Baltimore Ravens look to continue their winning ways as they head to Philadelphia for their first road game against the Eagles Sunday. The Ravens have a habit of letting down after a big win to start the season. It’s something that the Ravens are aware of as they prepare to battle the Eagles on Sunday.
“Two straight years we’ve gone to the second game, and we’ve lost,” said Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh. “That’s happened two years in a row. So, that’s probably a stat we’ll concern ourselves with right now.”
After the Week One win over the Cincinnati Bengals, linebacker Ray Lewis gave his teammates a 24 hour rule. That gave the team one day to celebrate before focusing solely on the Philadelphia Eagles. And with a quarterback as dangerous as Michael Vick, focus is a requirement.
The Ravens have had success against Vick in the past, but this will be their first game with him in an Eagles uniform. And though the Eagles struggled mightily against the Cleveland Browns in a winning effort in Week One, the Ravens will not underestimate them.
“For us to go in there and say the Eagles aren’t as good as they say, we’d be fooling ourselves,” said Lewis on Wednesday. “We know that this is their home opener. It’s going to be loud. It’s going to be rowdy. And they’re going to be ready to play.”
Baltimore is going to have their hands full with Eagles running back LeSean McCoy as well. Lewis referred to McCoy as a “complete back” who reminded him a little bit of legendary Detroit Lions running back Barry Sanders. That kind of ringing endorsement speaks volumes to a defense that gave up over 100 yards to the Bengals on Sunday. If the Ravens want to break the trend of losing in Week Two, they’ll have to contain both McCoy and Vick.
Reed limited in Practice
Ed Reed sprained his hamstring on Monday during his interception return that resulted in a touchdown. He informed reporters that night he was okay and his presence in practice on Wednesday proved just that. The Ravens will be cautious with Reed this week, but he should play on Sunday.
Kruger, McPhee and Birk did not practice
Though no mention of serious injuries were made after Monday’s win, linebacker Paul Kruger and defensive end Pernell McPhee were absent in Wednesday’s practice. Kruger (back) was abused on Monday night as a majority of the Bengals’ run plays came in his direction. After the game, he was noticeably exhausted but showed no signs of injury. This could just be a cautious move by the Ravens. The same can be said for McPhee (knee), who is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery.
Center Matt Birk did not practice on Wednesday either, but it’s safe to assume that the Ravens were simply giving the veteran a day off. The team typically gives veterans the day off to keep them rested. Working under a short week, this is a very wise move.
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Samuel Njoku was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Samuel has covered the Ravens for Examiner.com since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. He can be reached for comments at SamuelN870@gmail.com. His work can be found on Examiner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.