Ravens Preview: Week 2

| September 15, 2012 | 0 Comments

Baltimore Ravens (1-0) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)
1pm at Lincoln Financial Field

The Ravens look to build on their week 1 performance when they travel to the City of Brotherly Love as they take on the Philadelphia Eagles.  Needless to say, I don’t need to bring up the Ravens week 2 performance last season after their shellacking of Pittsburgh in the opening game.  Come Sunday at 4pm we will be a lot closer to knowing if this is the same Ravens team as last year or if they are similar to the team we saw Monday night against the Bengals.

Here is my take on the game:

Ravens offense vs. Eagles defense
The suddenly high-potent Ravens offense looks to prove that they are not a fluke by putting up a second consecutive stellar game against a very formidable defense.  Joe Flacco is the engine that makes the offense go and he has struggled on the road in most of the Ravens losses over the past four years.  Flacco seems to have a different attitude this year and looks like he is playing with a purpose which would be what the offense needs to be extremely successful.

Cam Cameron will need to put the Ravens in position to make plays but it will be Flacco’s job to get his receivers the ball when they are open.  The Eagles secondary is one of the best in the game and it will be up to Torrey Smith, Pitta and the rest of the Ravens offensive weapons to win their 1-on-1 matchups. If they do that, the Ravens offense will be successful.

Advantage: Ravens

Eagles offense vs. Ravens defense
When he is right and not turning the ball over, Michael Vick is the best player on the field in almost every game he plays. If he plays well the Eagles win, if he doesn’t they usually don’t. It really is as simple as that. In their first game of the year Vick threw four INTs and but then redeemed himself by throwing the game winning touchdown, which is really all that matters. In addition to Vick, the Eagles possess one of the best running backs in football and two game-changing, home run hitting receivers, however they are both hobbled by injury.

In week 1 the Ravens struggled against the run and struggled getting to the quarterback yet they excelled at keeping their opponent out of the end zone and, last I checked, keeping the other team out of the end zone is the name of the game. That being said, Vick’s athleticism alone gives the Eagles the advantage here.

Advantage: Eagles

Special Teams
Personally I think the Ravens never have the advantage on special teams and that is the case here. They have a rookie kicker who is heading into his first-ever road game in one of the most hostile environments and that could be a major factor here. Couple that with the fact that the Ravens have a rookie kick returner and a revolving door at punt returner the advantage has to go to Philly.

Advantage: Eagles

Intangibles
This is an interesting debate as you would think that the Eagles would automatically have an advantage here because they are at home and have what is believed to be the better coach. I disagree.  All the pressure is on the Eagles and if they come out and struggle early their fans will turn on them.

Advantage: Ravens

Prediction
I have waivered back and forth on the prediction of this game. I do not believe the Eagles are as bad as they showed in week 1 and conversely I am not sure the Ravens offense is as good as it was on Monday. I know the Ravens Jekyll and Hyde-type play, especially on the road. Early in the week I thought the Eagles would win this game but ultimately I think the Ravens somehow get the job done. Vick will give the Eagles the lead in the 1st half but the Ravens adjustments and a costly mistake by Vick will make the difference. I expect Flacco to have solid game, Ray Rice to be a major factor and Dennis Pitta to catch the game winning touchdown.

Ravens 24, Eagles 23

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About the Author:

I have spent my entire 30 years living in Maryland and I love everything about this city. Despite the bad reputation the city has, Baltimore will always be a special place to me and I love living here. There is nothing better then Sunday afternoons at M&T Bank Stadium and summer nights at Camden Yards when the Yard is packed. You can find me all over the city so don't hesitate to share your opinion of me good or bad. Who knows, if you see me out maybe I will buy you a Natty Boh. Lets go Ravens and Lets go O's!!! Follow me on Twitter at @MRomanell.
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