The Philadelphia Eagles, fresh off their tie to the lowly Bengals travel to Baltimore to take on the surprising Ravens. This will be the Eagles 2nd straight game against an AFC North opponent, both on the road.
The Eagles look to rebound after their subpar effort against the Bengals, and get back on the winning track. The Eagles offense was awful to say the least last game, and was only able to put up 13 points in 5 quarters against a bad Bengals defense. One of the reasons was McNabb's horrible play. McNabb will be facing a much tougher defense against the Ravens, so he will need to get back to his old self quickly if the Eagles want to have a chance to win this game. Another reason the Eagles were so poor against the Bengals was their playcalling. The Eagles refusal to run the ball, and also the fact that their playcalling does not appear to follow any type of order at all, did not help. They will need to establish some type of run game, even if the Ravens do have a great run defense. This will not be an easy task, as the Ravens are one of the best teams stopping the run, and Brian Westbrook is still not 100%. If the Eagles cannot run the ball, they will rely heavily on their receivers to get open, and for McNabb to hit them.
The Eagles defense on the other hand is coming off a great game against the Bengals, and really is the only reason that the Eagles didn't lost that game. The Eagles usually thrive going against a rookie QB, and they will be doing that in this game against Joe Flacco, who has played well this season. If the Eagles can stop the run, which they should be able to do, that will force Flacco to beat them with his arm, and will also allow the Eagles to blitz Flacco. Two games ago against the Giants, the Eagles could not stop the run. This meant that when the Giants would pass or go to play action, the Eagles couldn't bring as much pressure as they would have liked. However, against the Bengals, who couldn't run the ball on our defense, the defense blitzed all day, and ended the game with 8 sacks. Look for Flacco to be pressured all day if the Eagles are able to stop the Ravens rushing attack.
It's no secret the Eagles need to win this game to stay even remotely in the playoff hunt. They will need to win almost all of their games from here on out, and it must start in Baltimore on Sunday.