Bill Parcells has always said “you are what your record says you are” but as the 5-8 Eagles visit the 7-6 Ravens, we can see that Parcell’s statement isn’t always true. These two teams, one all but officially eliminated from the playoffs, the other in contention to host a playoff game, are quite similar.
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They aren’t exact replicas, the Eagles are better at running the ball by virtue of the Ravens being abysmal at it, while the opposite is true, the Ravens have the best run defense in the league by any measure. But that’s not the difference between 5-8 and 7-6, no, despite a 100 mile car ride, the differences between these two teams is location.
The Ravens reside in the AFC North, home to the worst team in the league, another with a losing record, and play the respectable AFC East and, crucially, the NFC East just once. The Eagles on the other hand, reside in the difficult NFC East, and play against the respectable NFC North and the middling AFC North. The Ravens have just two wins against a team currently with a winning record, the Eagles have three. Switch the two teams and the Eagles are possibly in 2nd place, still alive for a division title and accolades for Carson Wentz and Doug Pederson while the Ravens are en route to a second consecutive double digit loss season with a house cleaning approaching.
None of this means the Eagles are a better team, but likewise it is hard to say that the Ravens are the better team either. With the Eagles on the road, where they are 1-6, the Ravens should have an advantage. But when anyone can beat anyone on any given Sunday, the outcome of a game between two evenly matched teams in very different circumstances is anyone’s guess.
Score: Ravens 23, Eagles 20
Bold Prediction: Joe Flacco turns the ball over more than Carson Wentz
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