Philadelphia Eagles vs. Baltimore Ravens Semi-Coherent Preview

Aug 22, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Bryn Renner (2) runs away from Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Diaheem Watkins (45) during the second half at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Ravens, 40-17. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 22, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Bryn Renner (2) runs away from Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Diaheem Watkins (45) during the second half at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles defeated the Ravens, 40-17. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

A preview of the matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and Baltimore Ravens.

The Philadelphia Eagles‘ season continues to tailspin as last week’s loss to the Washington Redskins was their fourth in a row. Now the Eagles will take their 1-6 road record to Baltimore to face a Ravens team that is fighting for a playoff spot.

Baltimore Ravens

Record: 7-6 (Second place in AFC North)

Last week: Lost to New England Patriots 23-30

Head coach: John Harbaugh

The last time they met

Week two of the 2012 season was played during the referee strike, so the Eagles took on the Ravens under the watchful eyes of replacement referees. Believe it or not, this actually worked in the Eagles’ favor.

The Ravens had a touchdown called back due to a very questionable offensive pass interference penalty, giving Michael Vick an opportunity to drive down the field for a game-winning touchdown.

What’s the deal with the Ravens

The Ravens don’t seem to be that great of a team, but they have found ways to win football games. (This is much preferable to the Eagles’ situation where they may finish the season with a positive point differential, but a losing record.) They are one game out of the playoffs in both the AFC North and wild card standings.

More from Philadelphia Eagles

The Ravens’ success is largely on the backs of their defense which ranks fourth in both yards and points allowed. The leader is Terrell Suggs, who is still going strong at age 34, but they’ve also received major contributions from Timmy Jerrigan, and C.J. Mosley.

Offensively, the Ravens aren’t nearly as impressive. They rarely run the ball as they lead the league in passing attempts. The receivers are mostly nondescript, but Mike Wallace, Dennis Pitta, and Steve Smith have proven more than adequate targets for quarterback Joe Flacco.

Featured Ravens Player: Joe Flacco

Philadelphia Eagles
Dec 12, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) throws against the New England Patriots during the first half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /

Since the Giants are division rivals with the Eagles, I get two chances each season to discuss whether Eli Manning is elite. With the Ravens in the AFC, I can only bring up a similar debate about Joe Flacco once every four years. (Although astute readers will note that the Eagles usually play the Ravens in preseason, and I bring it up almost every year.)

Despite having a Super Bowl victory to his name, most people had concluded that Flacco is definitely not elite. He’s a good quarterback who has raised his game in the playoffs (which definitely counts for something), but he’s not among the top signal callers in the league.

His performance this season hasn’t done much to change that opinion. He’s leading the league in pass attempts, and is on pace to set a career high in yards and completion percentage. But his touchdown, interceptions, and yards/attempt numbers are about where they usually are, which is nothing special.

That said, would it surprise anyone if the Ravens make the playoffs and Flacco goes on a run like he did in the 2013 playoffs?

Reason to hate the Ravens

Since it’s been two years since the awful handling of the Ray Rice situation, I’ll go with the old standby when it comes to hating on the Ravens: This team made Ray Lewis – who many people are pretty sure helped to kill a man – the face of the franchise. Many teams might have distanced themselves from a player like that, but the Ravens chose to embrace him instead.

Super important Eagles storyline: Next up at right tackle…

Even if Lane Johnson hadn’t been suspended, the Philadelphia Eagles probably wouldn’t be in position to make the playoffs…but his absence certainly hasn’t helped. Not only has he weakened the right tackle position, but there’s been a trickle down effect as well. It’s not crazy to think they’d have at least one more win if Johnson had played the past nine weeks.

Naturally, since Johnson was suspended, the right tackle position has been riddled by injury. As soon as a new player comes in, they seem to leave with an injury. The Eagles may be forced to use Isaac Seumalo – a third round draft pick who is naturally a guard – at the position this week. We’ve already seen plenty of offensive plays get blown up because the right tackle couldn’t block his man. There’s a good chance we’re going to see some more on Sunday.

South Park character who somehow relates to this week’s game


After Kenny experienced a semi-permanent death, Stan, Kyle, and Cartman went through a series of replacements as their fourth friend. Eventually, they held a series of Bachelor-style auditions and settled on Tweek. If the Eagles lose any more right tackles, they may have to use similar tactics.

Tweets of unimportance
As far as I can tell, he was not murdered by Ray Lewis after this picture was taken, but stay tuned…

Sounds like a real killer experience!

Mocking the East

For a brief time, it looked like the expected quarterback controversy wasn’t going to come to fruition in Dallas after all. Tony Romo had graciously conceded the starting spot to rookie phenom Dak Prescott, and all seemed well in Big D.

And now? Prescott has looked a bit shaky the past two weeks, and all of a sudden, Jerry Jones is saying things that make us think the situation wasn’t quite settled.

I stand by my prediction: The Cowboys’ season comes to an end when Romo throws a bad interception in the playoffs.

The Wentz watch

After a few poor outings, it was nice to see Carson Wentz play a strong game last week. Yes, he threw a bad interception in the red zone, and once again, he couldn’t finish off a fourth quarter comeback. (Although, it’s tough to blame a guy for fumbling when he gets blindsided in two seconds.) But it was still a nice performance considering how little help he’s getting.

For all his rookie struggles, Wentz has still given us no reason to think that he won’t develop into the star we all hoped for. Let’s just hope they can build a strong team around him in the next few years.

Next: Byron Marshall Looking To Make Impact


Considering that the Philadelphia Eagles haven’t scored more than 24 points since September, there’s little reason to think they’ll score a lot of points against one of the league’s tougher defenses. Combined with their year-long poor play on the road, and going against a team fighting for their playoff lives, this doesn’t seem like a win.

Ravens 20 – Eagles 13