Ravens vs. Eagles: Breaking Down Key Matchups to Watch

Jeremy Fuchs@@jaf78Correspondent IIISeptember 15, 2012

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 09:  Quarterback Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles throws the ball as he is pressured by defensive lineman Ahtyba Rubin #71 of the Cleveland Browns  their season opener at Cleveland Browns Stadium on September 9, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

The 1-0 Baltimore Ravens travel to Philadelphia to take on the 1-0 Eagles in what should prove to be a terrific game. Both teams are playoff contenders. 

The Ravens put on a convincing performance in Week 1, beating the Bengals 44-13. The Eagles won, but struggled doing so, beating the Browns 17-16.

What are the key matchups going into this game? What will end up defining this contest? Read on to find out.


Michael Vick and the Ravens Secondary

Michael Vick did not start the season off very well. In his Week 1 performance against the Cleveland Browns, Vick threw for 317 yards, but also four interceptions.

The Browns secondary is nowhere near as good as the Ravens secondary. What's the difference? Two words: Ed Reed.

The ball-hawking safety must be salivating at the prospects of facing an inaccurate Vick. While the Eagles will definitely try to minimize Reed's impact, if Vick comes out and plays anything like he did against the Browns, it could be a rough outing.


Joe Flacco and the Eagles Secondary

Joe Flacco, on the other hand, looked incredible last week against the Bengals. Flacco went 21-of-29 for 299 yards and two touchdowns. That's a completion rate of 72 percent. For his efforts, Flacco was named as the AFC Offensive Player of the Week. 

He'll have a bit more of a test as he faces a good Eagles secondary. They are led by Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who are much better than the Bengals' corners. Will Flacco be able to repeat the success he had last week?

It will be tougher for Flacco to be as accurate as he was in Week 1. If he can come close to his performance from last week, the Ravens should be fine. But it's a much tougher chore. 


Eagles Defensive Line and the Ravens Offensive Line

Michael Oher and Kelechi Osemele, the two Ravens tackles, are not fleetest of foot, and they tend to struggle against speed rushers. The Eagles are full of speed rushers. This should be interesting.

Oher and Osemele will have to handle the speed of Trent Cole and Jason Babin. The line as a whole will also have to deal with Cullen Jenkins on the inside.

If the Eagles defensive line performs well, Flacco will not be able to put up the numbers he did last week. But if the offensive line holds strong, then Flacco could provide a repeat performance.