There is no denying that Baltimore Ravens Quarterback Joe Flacco is among the elite in the NFL. A Superbowl winner and a man ranked 97 inside the top 100 players of 2015, Flacco will be looking to send his Ravens into the Linc with every aspiration of putting up some big numbers…an aspiration that will fall short. Here’s why.
3. Receiver Depth
With Steve Smith entering his final year, the Ravens are going to have to look to some other wideouts..but who will they turn to? The instant thought is first round pick Breshad Perriman, but who else. Behind those two names sit a bucket full of players who have yet to prove their worth on a Football field. If Flacco can only realistically target two receivers then Houston we have a problem. Maxwell has looked brilliant all Camp and has previously shut down the likes of Jordy Nelson, whilst Eric Rowe has had the better of Steve Smith this week. Flacco is going to have to work incredibly hard if he is to outsmart these hungry Eagles corners with such a limited supply of weapons.
2. Stopping the run
Against the Colts, the Eagles allowed just 3.6 yards per carry, completely stopping Eagles legend Frank Gore from doing anything extraordinary. Despite giving up a TD on the run, one of the biggest worries was that without some of the big names that have departed the Linc, the Eagles would not be as efficient in stopping the run. But now with Vinny Curry one minute lining up at linebacker and the next lining up to stop the pass rush, the Ravens are going to be kept on their toes constantly. Connor Barwin had the most sacks in the NFC last season, his ability to get through the trenches is undoubtable. Fletcher Cox remains one of the most dominant in his position and will be a real headache for the Ravens O-Line..I really can’t see any of the Ravens running backs being able to pick up huge yards like we saw in the Washington game last night, the Eagles Defense is too primed for shedding tackles.
It’s that simple. The Eagles clashed with the Colts without Kiko Alonso, without DeMeco Ryans and without Mychal Kendricks. The team traded away Boykin, they lost Shepherd to injury..yet they looked dominant. Why? Depth. The phrase “next man up” was taken to a whole new level as this new look Eagles Defense has already began to find confidence. Walter Thurmond had a great game whilst we have already talked about how dangerous the corners can be. If this is what the birds can do without some of their biggest names, then what can they do with them? The Colts had far more weapons than what the Ravens do on Offense and in my opinion better depth at Quarterback. Last week was the game that challenged the Eagles Defense and would have highlighted any obvious flaws. This should be the game that highlights the progress of the unit and shows what they excel at.