Week 2: Baltimore Ravens At Philadelphia Eagles
- QuarterbackThe Ravens opened the season with a sharp 44-13 win over the Bengals and the best player on the field was quarterback Joe Flacco. No longer raw, Flacco is a polished leader with a strong arm. He combines poise, athleticism and an excellent sense of timing.Vick appears to have many problems and his lack of accuracy and his tendency to force the ball into tight coverage is a problem that will keep the Eagles from becoming a dominant. Vick threw the game-winning TD pass against Cleveland but he also fired four interceptions.
- OffenseThe Ravens have the strongest offense they have ever had since moving to Baltimore. Start with explosive running back Ray Rice and then add in a slew of receivers who can dominate. Anquan Boldin will make the tough catch while speedy Torrey Smith can go downfield and make big plays.The Eagles are loaded with players at the skill positions. LeSean McCoy remains one of the most explosive backs in the NFL. Speedy wide receivers Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson can break any game open. Clay Harbor caught the game-winning TD pass against the Browns.
- DefenseThe Ravens are always going to make plays on defense but now the unit does not have to shut out opponents in order to win games. Ray Lewis is the leader and is still productive, but the Ravens don’t need him to register knockout-type hits every game. Ed Reed is one of the three best free safeties in NFL history.The Eagles can dominate on the defensive end and the defensive end combination of Jason Babin and Trent Cole can make life miserable for opposing quarterbacks. Middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans is coming off a 5-tackle game while strong safety Kurt Coleman had two picks.
- Special TeamsThe Ravens couldn’t get rid of the sting of last year’s defeat in the AFC Championship game without cutting placekicker Billy Cundiff, who’s short miss kept the Ravens from tying the game. New PK Justin Tucker was perfect in three field goal attempts against the Bengals.While the Eagles are happy with placekicker Alex Henery, they had to be kicking themselves when they saw former Philadelphia kicker David Akers boot a 63-yard field goal for the 49ers. The Eagles excel on punt and kickoff coverage
Give the edge to the Ravens because they have shown so much improvement on the offensive side of the ball. Flacco is playing the best football of his career at a time when he has more weapons than any Baltimore quarterback has ever had. Vick is struggling with his reads and his accuracy and that could be the difference in this game.