The Baltimore Ravens will matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Here’s the scouting report.
Philadelphia Eagles record: 1-0-0 (Tied for 1st in NFC East)
The Eagles’ offense struggled in the season opener against the Browns at Cleveland. Michael Vick would throw four interceptions in one of the uglier games to start the season. And though those turnovers were the highlight of the game, the Ravens will focus on the 317 yards Vick threw in a winning effort. The Eagles will attempt to make big plays down the field on a secondary that is susceptible to giving up huge junks of yards. But if the Eagles throw four interceptions in this game, the Ravens could be treating the fans of Baltimore to another blowout.
The player to keep an eye on in this contest is Eagles running back LeSean McCoy. The Ravens’ defense takes pride in stopping the run. But on Monday, the Bengals had success running the football on the ground. Had Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense not put the game out of reach, the Bengals running game may have changed the outcome of the game. The Eagles like to move the ball through the air, but their best chance of winning this contest appears to be through the legs of McCoy. If they can move the ball effectively, they can keep an aggressive Ravens’ defense off balance.
The Eagles looked to improve a suspect run defense with the addition of DeMeco Ryans and Mychal Kendricks. And both will have to be on their A-game to stop Pro Bowl sensation Ray Rice. The Ravens showed off their high flying passing attack on Monday against the Bengals. Expect the Ravens to run the ball a lot more in this game. The Ravens feel like they will have more success running the football against the Eagles front seven. Being able to run the ball against a team on the road is huge because it eliminates the possibility for multiple communication issues due to the crowd noise.
But when the Ravens do have to throw the football, they’ll be doing it against a skilled secondary as well as a front four that can get after the quarterback. In 2011, the Eagles led the league with 50 sacks. Even though the Ravens offensive line protected Flacco well on Monday, they go up against a defensive line that is all about getting after the QB. The matchup the Ravens’ offense will focus on are their receivers against a formidable secondary that includes Nnamdi Asomugha and Domonique Rodgers- Cromartie. Flacco will have to pick his spots as both cornerbacks are athletic enough to cover the speedy receivers of Jacoby Jones and Torrey Smith.
These two teams have not played each other often, as Andy Reid has coached against Baltimore only twice. The record between the two teams under Reid is (1-1). The all time record between these clubs is (1-1-1). This includes an overtime tie back in 1997. Reid will have to throw his ego to the side in this game if he is to have a chance.Historically, he is not a fan of running the football, but this seems to be his only chance of victory against the Ravens. If he can run the ball with any amount of success, they’ll have a chance. If not, it could be another big game for the Baltimore Ravens.
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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.