Three things to watch for as Ravens visit Eagles
2) Handling the heat.
Statistics will show you that the Philadelphia Eagles have achieved the following rankings defensively so far in the 2020 season:
Team Defense: 13th allowing 355.2 yards per game
Passing Defense: 17th allowing 241 yards per game
Rushing Defense:: 17th allowing 114.2 yards per game
Scoring Defense: 23rd allowing 29.0 points per game
So in your counting stats, it would be fair to assess the Eagles defense as below average at best. However, the Eagles are currently second in the NFL with 18 sacks through five games so far this season.
The Eagles have a number of options that can hurt you on their defensive front, arguably one of the top five units in the NFL. They are led by defensive ends Brandon Graham and Josh Sweat who both have three sacks so far this season. The also boast Derek Barnett, Javon Hargreave, and one of the NFL’s top defensive tackles in game wrecker Fletcher Cox.
This is an extremely formidable unit and one of the few units across the board where the Eagles have been fortunate enough to enjoy health throughout the 2020 season. The Ravens offensive line gave up only one sack last week against a Bengals unit that has registered just nine sacks on the season.
The Ravens offensive line will face a stiff test this Sunday in Philadelphia and how they hold up could decide the outcome in the game.
3) Let’s get rolling
We were spoiled last season. It’s unreasonable to ask the 2020 Ravens offense to produce at the same level that the 2019 offense did for nearly the entire 2019 campaign.
There was no off-season, no training camp, and no preseason games to work through the growing pains of getting back on the same page. They also added a rookie RG, and two weapons on the offense in Duvernay and Dobbins that greatly would have benefited from your typical NFL off-season activities.
With that being said, the Ravens offense ranks 24th in total offense averaging 339.6 yards per contest ranking them around the Lions, the Bengals, and the Bears among offenses. They still sit third in the NFL in rushing yards per game at 160.8 but they are 8th in attempts at 144. For a team that is proving to effective running the ball and a team that has the greatest margin of victory in the NFL so far this season, the lack of commitment to the running game has been maddening.
The J.K. Dobbins pick was controversial. Other needs like wide receiver (still proving to be a need) and EDGE rusher (GLARINGLY SHOWING TO BE A NEED) were neglected to add the ultra talented back out of Ohio State. So far he has 25 touches for 199 yards. Seems like it would be a good idea to get the ball to a guy humming along at eight yards a catch.
Devin Duvernay might be able to solve the third weapon issue but again the training wheels seem to be on the Ravens third round rookie. He has eight touches on the season for 101 yards and returned a kickoff for touchdown against the Chiefs. Again it seems like this is a guy that should be featuring bit more in your offense.
Here’s what I know though. The Ravens offense isn’t producing at levels that will help them reach the top of the mountain. Defenses know that Jackson looks for 15 and 89 consistently on offense. Which in it of itself really isn’t a big deal as they are his best options. However someone else needs to step up and soon because the schedule after the bye reads Steelers, Colts, Patriots, Titans, Steelers which represent four of the NFL’s 12 best defenses so far.
The time to get rolling is now.
The Details: Baltimore Ravens (4-1) at Philadelphia Eagles (1-3-1)
Point Spread: Ravens -7.5
Radio: 98 Rock/WBAL 1090 AM
TV: CBS/WBAL-TV Baltimore
Commentary: Ian Eagle (play-by-play), Charles Davis (analyst), Evan Washburn (reporter)
Prediction: I think that this game has the potential to be closer than most in the Ravens flock would project. And to be frank most that I know in the Eagles nation aren’t feeling too warm and fuzzy about this one either. But Philly is desperate for wins right now and not that the Ravens can afford a loss, but I usually side with the more desperate team most of the time. The Ravens will win this contest but the Eagles cover. Ravens 27- Eagles 21.