The Baltimore Ravens (7-6) are taking on the Philadelphia Eagles (5-8) today in a matchup that is a “must win”.
The Eagles lead the series, with a 2-1-1 record. In the two teams’ last matchup, the Eagles defeated the Ravens 24-23, on Sept. 16, 2012, in Philly.
Most Recent Games:
Baltimore is coming off a 23-30 loss to New England on Monday Night Football, where Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco dinked and dunked his way through the contest. This, coupled with many mistakes on defense, as well as suspect route running, made for a losing effort.
Philadelphia is coming off of a 22-27 loss to Washington. Eagles rookie quarterback Carson Wentz didn’t have the worst of games, but he is going through some growing pains during this season. He currently almost has as many interceptions (12) as he does touchdowns (13).
Keys For the Ravens:
Baltimore needs to get back to a balanced offense. How many times must they go through the ringer during every press conference and say that “we need to get back to the run game”? Give their running backs Kenneth Dixon and Terrance West the rock. They are hungry for more carries and it keeps your defense off of the field and well-rested. Flacco has thrown the ball 554 times during this season. Baltimore has ran the ball just 301 times. That is unacceptable. The Eagles give up 101.4 yards rushing per game, so now is time to strike for the Ravens rushing attack.
As for the defense, the Ravens need to put pressure on the rookie quarterback. They couldn’t get much pressure on Tom Brady and it hurt them in the long run. Baltimore cannot play against Wentz and the rest of the Eagles offense passively.
Ravens offensive line vs. Eagles defensive line
The Ravens need to run the ball down the Eagles’ throat if they want to win. They cannot just try to air the ball out, without first establishing their running game. Each line will battle during the entire game, especially if the Ravens are leaning towards running the ball. Baltimore’s offensive line has to keep Flacco upright as well and allow him to mix in the play action pass. If offensive lineman Alex Lewis (ankle) plays, look for the Ravens to get nasty up front.
Ravens secondary vs Carson Wentz
This rookie quarterback is nothing to sneeze at. The guy has an immense amount of talent. The issue is that the talent that surrounds him isn’t up to par. The secondary needs to expose the lack of talent around Wentz and make him make critical errors. After all, he is a rookie quarterback.
Out: CB Jimmy Smith (ankle)
Baltimore is going to break out the black on black uniform combo today.
Sunday, 1 p.m. ET.
M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD.
Where to Watch:
FOX [Kenny Albert (Play-By-Play), Daryl Johnston (Color Commentary), Laura Okmin (Sideline)].