PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Well, the good news is Eagles fans will be allowed inside Lincoln Financial Field for this Sunday’s matchup against reigning MVP Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. But, they will need more than home-field advantage and Eagles’ fans to come out with a win this week.
CBS3’s Digital Team breaks down this week’s Eagles-Ravens matchup.
Alyssa Adams: The Birds are going to be fired up this week when fans fill the stands for this week’s matchup against the Ravens. The offense looked much better last week despite losing to the Steelers.
Carson Wentz threw for 252 yards and 2 touchdowns – and WR Travis Fulgham had 152 yards and 1 touchdown.
But in order to beat Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, I think the Birds need to control the run game — something the Ravens are good at. The Birds need to put the ball in the hands of Miles Sanders and rely on him for most of the workload this week.
The Ravens have the third-best rush offense in the league – averaging 5.6 yards per game — and Lamar Jackson’s versatility allows them to stretch the field.
The Eagles defense will need to have a big game this week in order to take the win.
Prediction: Ravens 35, Eagles 24
Tom Dougherty: There were a couple of encouraging things from last week’s loss in Pittsburgh. First, Carson Wentz looked the best he has all season despite throwing his league-leading eighth and ninth interceptions. Wentz battled against one of the league’s premier defenses, took a beating, and finally found a rapport with a receiver. He was objectively solid against the Steelers.
Secondly, the Birds might have finally found a receiver who can run routes in the NFL, catch the football in the NFL, and give Wentz a legitimate weapon on the outside. In the spirit of not overreacting, we should be cautious about how good Travis Fulgham is, but the last two games have shown he deserves serious play regardless of whether DeSean Jackson and Alshon Jeffrey return this season. It’s clear Wentz trusts Fulgham.
Those two things are the good — Wentz appears to be back on track, probably because he finally has a weapon in Fulgham. Now the bad, the Eagles’ defense.
The Eagles feature a middle-of-the-road rush defense, allowing 114.2 yards per game on the ground. Ahead of them is the league’s third-best rushing attack led by Lamar Jackson. Baltimore’s MO is to pound the rock, and it’s no secret. If the Eagles can stymie the Ravens’ run game, they could make this a game.
But the Ravens are not strictly a one-dimensional offense. Jackson has the ability to stretch the field, and his favorite target is his tight end, Mark Andrews. Andrews has five touchdowns already, and if he’s matched up against the Eagles’ linebackers on Sunday, he’ll likely add at least a couple more to that total.
The Eagles have to find a way to stop Jackson and cover Andrews. Those are easier said than done. Fans in the stands won’t make a difference, either. A bird will win on Sunday, but it’ll be Baltimore.
Prediction: Ravens 34, Eagles 26
Matt Bowker: The Eagles showed some promise last week — offensively, at least — against the Steelers but don’t expect the same this week. The Ravens’ D is legit. They enter this week’s matchup top five in the NFL in fewest passing and rushing touchdowns allowed. They’re tied for second in takeaways, tied for fourth in yards allowed per play. Don’t expect many fireworks from the Eagles’ offense.
Defensively, watch for Ravens tight end Mark Andrews to feast on the Birds’ linebackers. Andrews is tied for second in the NFL with five touchdowns already this season. You don’t need me to tell you about the Eagles’ struggles against TEs this season. The Birds’ D is among the bottom six in catches, yards and touchdowns allowed to tight ends this season. Hopefully, safety Will Parks makes his Eagles’ debut this week or fans may be in for another Nate Gerry game — get those boos ready.
All that, and I didn’t even mention reigning MVP Lamar Jackson.
Prediction: Ravens 31, Eagles 20
Erik Chambliss: For the second week in a row, the Eagles are clearly the inferior team as they host the Ravens. For as much as the offense did positive last week, don’t expect the Birds to put up over 20 points this week.
The Ravens’ defense seems to be the key to their success through the first five weeks. They go into Sunday allowing just over 15 points per game while scoring nearly 30 points.
That coupled with the fact the Eagles have yet to form any sort of offensive balance means the Eagles’ defense will have to be the difference-maker.
If the Birds can force Lamar Jackson to be a throwing quarterback they have a shot, Baltimore is currently ranked 31st in the NFL with 178.8 yards passing per game.
The other side of that is Carson Wentz and the Eagles’ offense capitalizing on each possession they get. This means getting more production from the run game. If you take away the 74-yard touchdown run by Mile Sanders last week, the Birds only rushed for 20 yards on 15 carries the rest of the game.
That inability to run the ball will allow one of the top secondaries to hone in on Travis Fulgham and whoever else the Birds have out there and could spell doom early for the Eagles.
That lack of running attack also means that Baltimore’s three-headed backfield of Mark Ingram, Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins will get the chance to pound the ball on the ground and gas the Eagles’ defense.
Sadly, this week will be a let down once again and Jackson will likely use the run-pass option to continually keep the Birds’ D on its heels.
Prediction: Ravens 35 Eagles 17