Here are some things to look for in the game today:
Keep Joe standing- The Eagles, much like the Giants are going to come after Joe Flacco. Currently the Eagles are second in the NFL with 36 sacks on the season. Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson likes to bring exotic blitz packages teams at teams. Out of the 11 starters on defense for the Eagles, 10 of them have at least one sack. For the Ravens offensive line, most of that pressure comes from the front four of the Eagles. With the Ravens without the services of Jared Gaither, and Willie Anderson’s status up in the air, the Ravens could be looking at Adam Terry and Oneil Cousins or Chad Slaughter at the tackle positions. Keep an eye on the Trent Cole (#58) and Darren Howard (#90) for the Eagles defense, they have a combined 14 sacks.
Who do you cover ? – While DeSean Jackson has become the number one target of Donovan McNabb, after him McNabb and the Eagles have several different guys that can catch the ball. This could be a big key in the game today if they do not have Brian Westbrook. The Eagles could be able to stretch the Ravens defense out by going 3 or 4 wide at the receiver position. Plus his back and tight ends are also threats to catch the ball.
Here are the Eagles players stats when it comes to pass catching : Jackson- WR(42c 1TD), Brown -WR (13c 1TD), Lewis -WR (16c), Curtis-WR (19c 1TD),Avant – WR( 18c 1TD) ,Baskett - WR (22c 3TD), Smith – TE (18c 3 TD), Celek – TE (17c), Westbrook -RB (32c 2TD) ,Buckhalter (21c 1 TD)
Who can make the play on 3rd down - This might be the biggest element in deciding who wins the game today. The Eagles and the Ravens defense are two of the best in the NFL on stopping teams on 3rd down. Both teams have only allowed 33.1 % of third downs to be converted, Eagles(41-124) Ravens(49-148). Whichever team can covert on third down today could go a long way in deciding who wins this football game.
Which trend survives- People always talk about trends in the NFL, well here are two of them going into today’s game. Since 2000, the Eagles have the second best record in the NFL following a loss, owning a 30-15-1 record (.663). In 2008, they are 2-1-1, so far. The Ravens are 0-2 coming off of a loss this year and are coming off of a loss on Sunday to the Giants.
This will be a close game, probably with out a bunch of points being put on the board, but I will say the Eagles squeak out at 19-16 win over the Ravens today.
Also, if you see Kendra Wilkinson in the stands today, be nice to her, and tell her to return my phone calls please.