The Philadelphia Eagles (1-3-1) and the Baltimore Ravens (4-1) are set to play each other this Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field. In order to preview this Week 6 matchup, I reached out to our enemies over at Baltimore Beatdown. The keen Kyle Barber kindly took the time to answer my questions about the upcoming tilt. Let’s take a look at the answers.
1 - I noticed there’s an article on Baltimore Beatdown titled: “Where is last year’s Lamar Jackson?” What’s going on with the Ravens’ quarterback?
Jackson’s lack of deep-ball throwing has been worrisome. He hit Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews deep many times last year and it’s not there this season. He’s fortunate to not have more interceptions after last week against the Cincinnati Bengals, also. I believe he’s dealing with a knee injury and that the lack of weapons is getting to the passing game. The Bengals said it best when they stated only Andrews and Hollywood are his targets. He’s not looking at Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay or Willie Snead IV.
2 - L.J. Fort has seemingly played well for the Ravens since being cut by the Eagles. Can you talk about the impact he’s had?
Fort has been everything you could ask for. He’s started the past four games and has been an impact player. This season, he’s already recovered two fumbles and returned one of them for a 24-yard touchdown. He’s adept in coverage and, unsurprisingly, is talented in run defense. The Ravens are a linebacker factory and he’s yet another developed product on the field.
3 - What is the Ravens’ biggest strength? How should they be attacking the Eagles?
The defense. They’re No. 1 in points allowed (76). Their cornerbacks, Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, who both earned First-Team All-Pro recognition in 2019, have produced six turnovers as a duo (2 INT, 4 FF). They’ve also added another 2.5 sacks and outside of a Kansas City matchup, have dominated their opposition. Humphrey has yet to allow a touchdown and is arguably a front-runner for Defensive Player of the Year. The best way to attack the Eagles is to let them keep doing what they’re doing. Eventually, Carson Wentz will make a mistake and likely extend his league lead in interceptions.
4 - What is the Ravens’ biggest weakness? What should the Eagles be looking to exploit?
The offensive line, more specifically the right side. While Orlando Brown Jr. has done well, you can tell there’s a Hall of Fame absence at right guard. Marshal Yanda isn’t there to help bulldoze two or three defenders on each snap. The Ravens’ starting right guard, rookie Tyre Phillips, is also dealing with an injury which sidelined him last week. Baltimore isn’t exactly running over their opponents anymore.
With this in mind, one of the best defenses at getting after the quarterback could feast. The Eagles’ defensive line has produced 16 sacks and though Jackson is quite elusive, a mindful pass rush and pressure will cause nearly any quarterback into mistakes.
5 - Who wins this game and why? Score prediction? And what are your expectations for the rest of this Ravens season?
The Ravens win this game. The numbers point to this being a blowout, too, though Vegas argues otherwise with “only” a 7.5 point spread. Baltimore is dropping 30 burgers on everybody, save KC. Their tight ends and slot receivers are their most threatening, which is where the Eagles’ defense most suffers. Baltimore’s secondary has done nothing but create takeaways and Wentz is the league leader in interceptions thrown. The Ravens’ pass rush has begun getting to the quarterback and the Eagles’ offensive line is duct-taped together. I see the Ravens posting another 30+ points and holding the Eagles to fewer than 10.
The Ravens will have another dominant regular season. We’ll see if this finally translates to a playoff victory or more.