Philadelphia Eagles: 3 Things to Expect in Week 2
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Baltimore hosted the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 1 and dominated the game from start to finish. The team won by a score of 44-13.
The Ravens defense proved to the world that anti-aging science has taken a step forward. The defense looked like it was 10 years younger.
The 37-year-old Ray Lewis racked up 14 tackles, doubling the number of the next closest player on the team. Ed Reed, meanwhile, seems like he takes every single interception back for a touchdown. He continued that trend last week.
The Eagles temporarily forgot how to play football against the Cleveland Browns in Week 1.
Michael Vick appeared to experience a slight bout with color blindness, throwing all four of his interceptions directly to the other team.
One of the only bright spots for Philly was on defense. Juan Castillo's unit allowed only nine points against. The other seven came from an interception returned for a touchdown.
Baltimore travels to Philadelphia on Sunday. Here are three things to expect from this matchup.
1. Philadelphia's Run Defense Will Show That Week 1 Was Not a Fluke
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The statistics say that the Eagles gave up 99 rushing yards last week, but the numbers are slightly skewed. One double-reverse and one quarterback scramble were responsible for 60 of the 99 total rushing yards given up.
If you look at straight-up rushing, the Eagles defense performed beautifully. They gave up 39 yards on 19 carries to the highly touted Trent Richardson. The front four of the line always met the ball carrier and Richardson never really broke past them.
Ravens running back Ray Rice is a significantly more skilled back. He has versatility in both the running and passing game as well. However, this is about Philadelphia's response to Rice, and I don't envisage much of a change from last week.
Expect Philadelphia to keep the Ravens rushing attack off-balance for the majority of the night. They understand how important stopping the run will be in this game and will respond accordingly.
2. Michael Vick Will Play Like Michael Vick
This can be interpreted in multiple ways. Vick played like the bad Vick last week, but that's not what we will see against the Ravens.
It seems like Vick regularly plays to his opponents' level, which is both good and bad.
If you're looking for examples of bad, go back and watch what happened last Sunday.
If you're looking for examples of good, make sure you tune-in to the Ravens game this week.
Vick is not a fool. He knows that the Ravens defense has been among the best in the league for the past 10 years. With Ray Lewis at linebacker, Ed Reed at safety and Haloti Ngata on the defensive line, Baltimore will put all sorts of pressure on Vick for the whole game.
Vick will still likely make some mistakes out there, but don't expect him to perform anything close to poorly. In fact, look for him to do quite well.
He knows that the NFL's eyes are on him, and he'll play like he has something to prove. Three touchdowns through the air and around 40 yards on the ground should quiet all of the negative talk surrounding him.
At least for another week.
3. The Crowd is Going to be Unbelievable
There is nothing quite like going to an NFL game.
The noise, the people and even the smell are just three of many different factors that get the fans going.
Put that in a Philadelphia environment and you've got yourself a football game!
Philly is arguably the only fanbase to be completely honest about the team they cheer for.
If the Eagles are playing well, they'll go wild for the team like they're family. However, if Philadelphia is playing poorly, the fans will essentially lose their minds. They'll do anything possible to show the team that the performance is unacceptable and that it won't be tolerated.
That mentality could help to explain how the Eagles have been successful for the past 15 years.
Regardless of what happens during the game this Sunday, both the Eagles and Ravens can look forward to being in an environment that will be demanding, fun and hostile.
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