• May 19, 2022

Eagles-Ravens Pregame Thoughts

Reid Holds The Biggest Key

Andy Reid always says that the team’s successes and failures start with him. The head coach always stresses that it’s on him to put his players in the best possible position to succeed. For the Eagles to have a chance against Baltimore, Reid will need to be at his best while managing the team on the sidelines.

Last week Reid called a terrible game. While I put a ton of blame on Michael Vick for what I believe to be an inexcusably poor performance, there’s no denying that his head coach also deserves just as much responsibility, if not more, for the team nearly allowing a winnable game to slip away.

Reid needs to help his quarterback out by establishing a running game early on to help set up the vertical attack that he loves so much. The coach only made Vick’s struggles worse last week by calling pass after pass after pass. The offense became predictable, and the Browns were able to simply drop back into coverage on every play and wait for the quarterback to make mistakes.

If Reid calls a good game, but his players still don’t get the job done it’s one thing. But if Reid continues to forget that he has one of the best running backs in football, and allows to offense to become predictable to the point where the Baltimore defense knows exactly what to expect, it’s going to be an ugly home opener for the Birds.

Michael Vick Has To Be Better Than Last Week…Right?

They say once you hit rock bottom, there’s nowhere to go but up.

After playing what might be the worst game of his career a week ago, it’s hard to imagine Vick turning in another performance that bad. However, I don’t think that necessarily means we can expect a good effort. The Ravens come in with such an accomplished defense; a defense that does a lot of things well and is capable of producing game-changing plays.

On top of the large questions regarding Vick’s game, there are no guarantees that his head coach will put him in a good position, and his offensive line is coming off of a very shaky performance against the Browns.

Against a unit this good, I can’t see Vick playing a clean game. There are just too many major questions about Vick and those around him for me to expect him to play well. He won’t throw four interceptions again, but I see him committing at least two turnovers.

How The Eagles Can Beat The Ravens

As mentioned above, for the Eagles to come away with a win, it has to start with the gameday coaching of Andy Reid.

The Eagles are a team that is in love with the big play; they love to stretch the field with their speedy receivers and rely on big strikes to set up their offense for success. In this game, it’s very important that they forget about that philosophy, especially with top receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin dealing with injuries.

The Ravens aren’t a team that you can beat with the big-play mentality. You can’t rely on finesse, you must overpower them by playing a physical, grinding game. This means that LeSean McCoy will need to be the focal point of the offense. The Eagles must have a run-first mentality, and attack the Baltimore run defense regularly.

The Eagles need to involve their backup running backs in this gameplan as well. Reid chose to keep five running backs on the roster, and he needs to justify that decision by leaning on his younger backs. If Dion Lewis is healthy, he’s got to get between 5-8 touches. Bryce Brown also should receive a couple of looks.

The passing game needs to be simplified and methodical. The best thing the Eagles can do in this game is not ask Vick to do too much. When they do put the ball in their quarterback’s hands, they need to set him up for success by calling things like screen plays and utilizing their two quality tight ends Brent Celek and Clay Harbor.

If the Eagles’ offense can succeed in producing a number of long, efficient scoring drives, they’ll wear down Baltimore’s veteran stars and open the door for their deep threats as the game goes on.

Defensively, Juan Castillo is going to have a much greater challenge on his plate this week. Joe Flacco is improving with every pass attempt, and is playing with great confidence as he runs the up-tempo no-huddle Baltimore offense.

The first thing Castillo must do is contain Ray Rice. One of the top running backs in football, Rice is both explosive and efficient. The best chance the Eagles have for success is to focus on taking Rice away, and forcing Flacco and the receivers to beat them.

The Eagles defense do have some favorable matchups with the Baltimore receivers. Nnamdi Asomugha should be able to handle an aging Anquan Boldin, and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie has the speed to match up with deep threat Torrey Smith. However, tight end Dennis Pitta and slot receiver Jacoby Jones will be difficult assignments for rookies Mychal Kendricks and Brandon Boykin.

Another matchup that favors the Eagles is the fact that Baltimore has a suspect offensive line. This is a group that lost a Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs to free agency, and Jason Babin will be matched up with a rookie offensive tackle in Kelechi Osemele.

If this defense plays another good game, it would make a lot of believers in Juan Castillo.

Why The Ravens Will Win.

As promising as the idea of a run-first offensive approach sounds, it may only be possible in an alternate dimension. This is Andy Reid we’re talking about. His philosophy is to keep firing and stick to the gameplan, no matter what happens. He’ll live and die by his sword, and a sword that isn’t particularly sharp and sturdy (Vick) could easily break once engaged with the proud, battle-tested warriors of Baltimore.

Reid’s offenses have also had trouble in the past succeeding against a 3-4 attack. Even though the Ravens are without their best pass rusher, Terrell Suggs, they’ll have little trouble generating pressure on Vick against a questionable offensive line. They’re also likely to copy Cleveland’s approach, and send blitz after blitz at a quarterback who struggles heavily to read and recognize them.

The Baltimore offense will create problems for Juan Castillo because of their fast-paced style of play. The Ravens will force the second-year defensive coordinator to constantly think on the fly and anticipate more quickly than normal what Flacco’s next move will be. This is something that the former offensive line coach hasn’t shown that he can do consistently yet.

The Ravens are the complete opposite of the Browns in the sense that Baltimore’s offense is so diverse with a great number of talented players and stars, while Cleveland’s attack was as limited and basic as they come. It would be extremely impressive if Castillo’s group is able to enjoy a successful outing against this group, but I expect them to struggle after watching how easily Baltimore disposed of a pretty decent Cincinnati defense.

Final Thoughts

I don’t think the Eagles are hopeless in this game, but I think too many things will have to go right for them to win.

From the head coach’s playcalling, the quarterback’s stability, to the defensive coordinator’s ability to adjust to the speed of the Ravens’ game, those are three major concerns that will all need to go right in order for the Eagles to come out on top.

It’s a little surprising to me, but many fans and media members in Philadelphia have been picking the Eagles to win, but I just don’t see it. Most of their picks seem to be on gut feelings more than anything else, with their most convincing argument being that they’re clinging to the hope that Baltimore will come out a little flat on a short week, which in my eyes isn’t nearly enough to give the Eagles an edge.

The Eagles are going find out what a legitimate Super Bowl contender looks like. Philadelphia is a team with talent but they also have questions and consistency issues while the Ravens are a team that does a lot of things very efficiently, and don’t have nearly as many pressing concerns as their opponent.

I expect this to be a fairly close game, but Baltimore comes out on top.

Follow Denny Basens on Twitter.



Denny Basens

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  • Andy Reid trying to win a game by running is like Obama trying to fix the economy by using trickle-down economics……….ain’t gonna happen.

  • I am very interested in this game. Have to see how Vick will play in what has to be looked at as a “make or break” game in reards to the rest of his career.

    He has to see the writing at this point. The Birds signed Edwards to an extension (to be the #2 – why extend him otherwise? To be the 3? Doubtful) They have Foles lurking. Vik’s contract has an easy out.

    The “he’s not that good” rumblings are out there and gettng louder with every turnover…..

    If he wants to start somewhere else next year and get any sort of payday, he better play well. He stinks it up again, and he’s looking at the backup job somewhere at a million a year.

    Big stakes.

  • Ravens 30-Eagles13
    Boo Birds out in ernest by 3rd Period and this time are directing their Boos at QB M Vick .. Coach AR pulls Vick late in the 3rd after his 3rd Turnover resulting the Ravens to go up 27-3 aand essentially ending the game.. Foles comes in the 4thQuarter and leads the Eagles to 10 Points in his 2 Possesions/drives of the Quarter and yes with a TD Pass to my man, Mardy Gilyard
    Vick gets one more chance in Week #3 against the Cardinals

  • Vick should be better tomorrow and I hope he does great, but Andy seems to thinks he is Steve Young. The best part about last week is expectations have come down to reality. This team can only go so far with the 7-8th best qb in the NFC. It will be fun on the weeks the offense clicks, but there will be many bad ones if the nice stable of running backs aren’t utilized.

  • This year is for Michael Vick. Foles will be the quarterback next year in my opinion. Does that means Foles is great? No, but the team has to take the risk and hope he can handle it next year. He could be the next Kolb or Brady, but noone will know until he plays with the lights on.

  • First of all, I want to see a turnover free game from the Birds tomorrow (Especially you Vick). I don’t think thats asking for too much as an Eagles fan. Is it really that hard to protect the football…

    For some odd reason, I think the Birds win this game. Don’t ask me how it will happen. I have no reasonable logic behind it. I probably sounds really stupid based upon what we saw last week but I could see the Birds pulling this one out somehow someway and then playing like shit next week against a pathetic Arizona Cards team and losing to them again.

    Just thinking about tomorrow though for now, a Win would give us a real shot at going 4-2 or even 5-1 (I can be optimistic sometimes) to start the season before the bye which would be huge.

    This Ravens team does have a history of sucking it up at times when you don’t expect it. (remember that pathetic performance against the freaking Jags last year and didnt they lose to the Browns as well after coming off a big win on national tv, just sayin shit can happen)

  • JP…The Birds only owe Vick 3 million in guaranteed money after this year…Even if Vick plays decent the rest of the way I think he is truly done here as an Eagle after the season is over. UNless we get an NFC championship or SB game here with him. And I highly doubt that is possible when you have a QB who cant read a blitz/defense and who hasn’t proved he can stay healthy as an Eagle. I truly wish and pray that it could happen…But in real life I have no hope that it is possible.

  • Andy Reid and Vick dont go well together. Vick would flourish with a coach like Belichek or Coughlin.. where he could play tough simple football…

    Hey Andy and Marty .. Keep it simple stupid !

  • Eagles win today 27-24. Vick runs for 45, throws for265, 1td pass to shady. Shady runs another one in, another 100 yard game. Bryce brown picks up 40 yards and a score too. The defence makes a tough day on flacco leaving Vick and the offense in good veiled position throughout the day.

  • Larrwd.

    Best laugh I’ve had today. “Vick would flourish with a coach like Belichek…”

    Sure he would. Maybe as a slot receiver.

  • The over/under for the start of the “we. want. nick. foles.” clap-clap-clapclapclap chants is set at 2.5 quarters.

    Is anyone not named Lionsden or Realtalk on the over?

    Didn”t think so.

  • Just like it’s all over for Candidate Romney to win the Presidential Election, it is over for the MV7 Experience in Philadelphia.. Take out his magical 6 Week play in October-Nov 2010 and it’s been pretty medicore since then.. It all started with his INt from the 3 yard line against the Bears in Nov 2010 where his hot streak ended and his replay back to committing turnover

  • has a qb ever bounced back from a terrible game before? lets see where we stand after this game.

  • Hey…great to see ‘ole MV7 still rattlin’ on about “Dynasties” on the CBS pregame show.

  • All 5 first passes have been “one read” passes. Vick has one specific guy to throw to each play.

    That’s what High school coaches do. It’ll work for a while. But not for long.

  • Good times. Though I think he may have been over the LOS.

  • at least we have a $$ D

  • Throw the fucking ball away! why do we have a QB that is so beyond stupid to understand that. SIMPLE football knowledge is all it takes…seriously throw it away and live for the next play…Especially in the redzone. Thats what losers do.

    The D just saved his ass again but were not playing the browns today…can’t rely on them doing it all game.

  • Wow. I don’t think its possible for an eagles fan to not like Celek

  • Again….these are one read high school passing plays. They won;t work for long.

    Despite the fact that they’re one read plays, Vick is taking an inordinate amount of time to throw the ball (thus the hits). I mean I’m counting 5 and 6 steamboats on some plays.

    Not the way the nfl works.

  • whew…..on Kendricks….

    Big fan of the D……..

    Enjoy stopping fakes!!!!

  • Vick plus a number1 for flacco, please make this trade at half

  • i reiterate chris polk is better than bryce brown

  • Maybe Vick could learn from the NFL QB he’s facing, that you can throw the ball BEFORE your WR is open, knowing that he Will be open when the ball gets there….


    rather than waiting till a guy is 10 yrds open, throwing the ball late…and getting hit.

  • Vick with With 8 Turnovers in 1 1/2games (2 umbles were recovered by the Eagles so far) … Enough said .. get his chump,overpaid,overhyped ass outta there.. Eagles will never even be a Playoff Team with him at the helm let alone a legitimate Super Bowl Contendor

  • another reason whiy the Eagles will go no where.. When they have to run the ball they can’t.. It’s only because of passing 65% of the time that allows McCoy great opportunities for big runs.. When teams line up 7 in the Box, they Eagles can’t run the ball, plain and simple..

  • Vick will make a few unreal plays, the Vick apologists will say, “that’s what I’m talkin about” in tha end he is too stupid to read defenses, relies on his ability not a brain.

  • chris polk never fumbles

  • That turnover will be blamed on Mccoy…

    but when was the last time you saw a two-handed handoff? Played a role.

  • lol vinnie. Only you.

  • Y cant vick tackle Rice? i mean….. the good qb’s play MLB too.

  • I will up the offer, Vick, d jax and a number 1 for flacco.

  • 2nd str8 game where the D plays $$ and it could be an easy win…..but O is in a funk.all

    Who is leader of O?

    Go ahead and ignore that the left hand hitting McCoy before the ball has an effect Stevo…….

  • BTW Andy Dalton is having a pretty good day against Cleveland’s #5 defense….

  • didnt you see flacco just throw into triple coverage wtf are you guys on

  • celek with that lost weight is way more explosive and is now vicks favorite target.. vick getting back to his normal self. as is eli manning

  • Vick so lucky not to have 3 ints right now

  • These refs suck

  • That was a Super-fantastic challenge by Reid there.

    There’s no way timeouts are going to come into play late in this game, so might as well use them up now.

  • Nice comeback so far during this 3rd Period, Defense has tighten up..
    Now lets have some good coverage on this Kick-off Return…

  • Cards QB Kold rushes for 5 yards for a Arizona TD putting them up 20-9 versus the Pats up in New England in the 4th Quarter… Kolb in the running for “Comeback Player of the Year” Award… Just sayin’…

  • Missed opportunity on that 3 and out drive.. SHort Punt and now Ravens have good Field position.. I think the Ray Rice and TE’s Pitta/Dixon show start to take hold here in the 4th. .Eagles D is playing pretty good but Offense can’t sustain drives and close the deal..

  • Eagles are getting insane pressure.

  • no other qb can make that throw in the league

  • I might diasgree here paulman. I think the Birds might be wearing down the Balt D
    Now that Reid is frightened to ut the ball in Vick’s hands….they actually grinding it out

  • nice throw. Sorry Vin… i know that hurts. Go birds.

  • you’re right larrwd….no one else

  • oh there you go vinn congrats.

  • patented Vickpick to end this drive. Predictable. High and behind.

  • Hey Larrwd. No other QB can make that throw in the league!!!! Yuk yuk.

    On another note….good to see the Birds now only have one timout entering the 4th in a close game.

  • That’s Vick, more ability than any player in nfl, less brains than my labrador . Can’t win consistent with him. Never

  • Great idea with the sidearm as he’s bing sacked and falling to the ground….just “making a play”

  • Good that Harbaugh comes from the Andy Reid school of unnecessary challenges

  • Vick’s 4th “almost pick” of the day….late and to the sidelines….

  • it hit celek in the hands…. you need nfl sunday ticket because every quarterback has a ton of almost picks .. eli has 3 today and brees has a pick 6

  • now if everyone takes notice see how flaccos outlet is always in the same spot .. the eagles change the outlet each play .. they beat themselves

  • And here will come the Vickpologists about how the Eagles’ D gave this game away and blah blah blah

  • i think vinniethevictor is gay. not that there is anything wrong with that. we get it you dont like vick.. Ive never seen one guy so obsessed with another it starts with the coaches

  • Here comes Vick…to “win” another game

  • at best that’s intentional grounding

  • 2nd and 1 run the fckn ball

  • oh wow… vinnie im so sorry

  • wow the coaches finally are getting smart it only took a year .. every single time it 1 -3 yard from the goal vick should be running

  • wow.. What a game. Ryans and vick played well. Kendrix is my new fav player. Hold on to that hate Pman and Vinnie. We will see you next week. Eagles are 2-0 baby. Great win.

  • Well, Vick has “won” another game….despite being the #1 reason both games were close.

    As statedGreat that we won. The D is bordering on unbelievable. But VIck is still the master at keeping both teams in the game. I don;t see how this works out at all.

  • Vinnie… no int grounding. now you are just saying crap….

    at best… birds are 2-0/
    at best…. they came together as a team,
    at best….. Vick has led the team to two 4th quater comeback wins
    at best…. the LB’s are playing well.
    at best….. we are 2-0 for the first time in years
    at best… i dont care what goons like vinnie say.

    Ill be the first to say this team under vick was bad last week BUT…. ill also be the first to say congrats to VICK for playing a good game against a tough tought team. great game. Stuff it haters.

  • You could argue that the only reason Eagles won is because Reid lost faith in Vick. and took the ball out of his hands.

    Mick Vick. The only person on the planet who could convince Reid to run first.


  • Vinnie… are you kidding me? how many fumbles for Mccoy today? how many in the red zone. You are full of crap. Sorry for your loss today.

  • guess qbs can bounce back…

  • Postin from my phone leaving the Linc now. WOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  • Cut Asomugha NOW


  • Is that guy Vinnie BLIND

  • Ooppps… another 4th quarter comeback win

    Vincent just stop posting dog…seriously

  • its like a moth in to a hot fire, I keep coming back here only to be burned by the absolute Eagle hate. I know there are more lovers than haters why do they continue to win? Why becasue the positidelphias quit coming here to the post section of this site.

    A gut win against maybe the best team in the AFC, who were an inch from the superbowl who totally dominated their last game, and the only thing some people can find to talk about is……yada, yada. Yes I saw the dam turnovers i dam nearly ripped out my eyes, but this team showed Philly gut and grind, old city philly.

    I hate the turnovers but I see every QB in this league just about performing the same way as Vick has. Newton, Brees, Brady, Eli, Cutler, etc, etc.

    Get over it dang it, time to go back to the koolaid sight so I can share my happiness with like minded drinkers!!!!!!!!!!


    Finally love you guys can’t really stay away. Peace!


  • You guys are funny.

    All excited by 4th Q “comeback” drives, that are only needed because your hero kept the other team in the game with his ineptitude.

    Vick was responsible for 3 of the 4 turnovers (2 picks + the double handed botched handoff) that kept the game close…..

    So ya….he “won ” the game on the last min drive….a drive that wouldn’t have been necessary if he was competent.

    Vick owes each defensive player a house for their efforts over the past 2 weeks.

    Lets revies…Eagles beat Cleveland, then their home opener. SHouldn;t theese be expected??? Nope…not for Vick fans……then its something special.

  • Fellas whatup, Yo straight up hats off to JUAN CASTILLO thats right I said it. The defense is a lot better, especially in the red zone and on third downs. Also shot out to Demeco Ryans I see he didn’t feel like playing in the pre season but dam the Eagles got a still from Houston. Also to all the guys on hear who praised Kendricks, hats off to you guys. I thought he was too small man him and Demeco are both three down linebackers.

  • ill eat my hat diddy… birds D looks much better this year.

  • btw… Vinnie… your Boy toy gets killed next week. Birds will be 3-0 thanks to Kolb.

  • So ya….he “won ” the game on the last min drive….a drive that wouldn’t have been necessary if he was competent.

    That sentence right there is the funniest shit posted

    On another note

    Vincent’s old boo Kevin Kolb is coming back to town next week

  • vinnie… just re-watched the handoff… go fly a kite.

  • Great game go eagles

  • I will never understand how some you whining mofos can stand yourselves let alone anyone else, especially Vinniethevictor, whine more than bitches, if you don’t like the Eagles or the players in specific Vick, find another team to be a fan of. Oh and Mr. Vinniethefakeassfan, Vick was responible for 1 turnover, find a dam life outstide of worrying about Vick.

  • Everyone needs to hold onto their hats/helmets a bit..
    The Eagles are 2-3 plays from being 0-2 just as easily

    Browns Game, Browns LB dropps a very makeable Int in the End-Zone
    next play, Harbor catches winning TD

    Ravens Game, Asmo gets burnt on another TD Pass which Ravens WR Jones gets called for Offensive Interference which was questionable
    The replay/call on Vick’s pass on 2nd Down could have been rulled a Fumble instead of a Forward Pass..and then on Ravens final Drive, Flacco and their OC panicked and should have ran a Quick Draw on that 3rd Down and 2 play to Rice who was averaging 7-8 Yards a Carry to keep the Drive going when Eagles were in Pass-Defense Mode.. As an Offense you have to think 2 plays to get 2 Yards to keep the Drive moving and with their FG Kicker who was booming them from 50-55 Yards, they decided on 2 sideline passes which were not executed very well by Flacco and were covered by the Eagles anyways..The Ravens blew it by their 3rd Down Call and if you listen to HC Harbaugh comments post-game, he questioned why his OC (Cam Camreon) didn;t call a Run play there on 3rd Down when Eagles were in prevent Defense..
    See how Play-Calling gets questioned for every team and not just Coach AR and in Philly, lots of Ravens feel as I do, that the Ravens gave that game away so while I am happy the Eagles are 2-0, I know they will have to play a lot better and a lot cleaner to be a legitimate Playoff Team.. (as I am sure the Eagles Coaches and PLayers realize too) but you take any Win any which way you can and it;s far better to be 2-0 than not..

  • But pman THATS football. “the catch” is amazing cause it happened…. do you realize how that would have changed had he NOT actually caught the ball? The tuck rule…. thats 1 play. Vinnatiri… how many playoff kicks to end the game did he hit? Thats 1 play.

    Think of the last drive of the eagles cards NFC champ game….. WHAT IF… he caught that ball?

    This is football. Dynasties happened because of 1 or 2 plays.

    Now… dont get it twisted… the browns game should have been easy. But the ravens? They are a good team. A very very good team. A good qb. A good Oline. A GREAT run game. the D??? AMAZING. and we won. I had it a L when the schedule was released. So… you can hold your hat…… Ill hold up my first place eagles.

  • Pman- And if my aunt had a ____ she would be my uncle. Just enjoy it for now. Another way to look at it is that they are 2-0 when they haven’t played their best football. To use your logic, IF they didn’t have 4 turnovers, they would have rolled the Ravens.

    I just don’t see the Cards as having enough to beat the Eagles. They will not be able to run the ball, and Kolb has been ineffective since he got to Ariz. They should blitz him early to get him scared and he will throw 2-3 picks in this game. Hell the D-line will probably be able to get pressure without blitzing. Even if the Ariz defense is good, the Eagles will still score points. Peterson only plays on one half of the field.

  • Honestly…. this team has not clicked yet and they just beat a very very good team. i See us going 5-1 maybe 4-2 going into the bye AT THE VERY LEAST. But none of that matters. Right now….. we focus on killing Kolb. Our D walks away this week looking like the 85 bears.. Book it!!

  • Take Fitz out of equation. Who worries you? Ravens have a great rungame…still lost and we forced there hand into throwing.Cards? Rungame? Who?

    Press tech on the outside and send the d-lineman after “baby-arm”(btw ive been wating to use that cause one of you birdbrains coined it,great nickname!!) and we’re 3-0.

    Let’s not forget,Shady has yet to have a biggame.He’s due.

  • No one “worries” me on this Arizona team. Esp on O. Terrible (really terrible) oline. 1 wr, quick – name the other WRs or the TE, RBs are pedestrian at best, and the QBs have been struggling.

    That being said…..

    …..they’re 8 and 1 over their last 9, (with wins over some quality teams like NE, Seattle, SF, Philly and Dallas).

    They’ve won 6 str8 at home.

    How? Its pretty much all on their D.

    They haven’t given up over 20 in any of those games, and in fact, only 2 opponents have even reached 20 over their last 10. Pretty impressive.

    They’re also not turning the ball over….Kolb had 8 picks over hsi first 7 games last year….but has 0 in the last 3 weins he’s gotten credit for. Don’t turn the ball over – give yourself a chance.

    Its also a donut for the Birds…..coming off a big win and heading to a big primetime game vs giants next week. Eagles should win, but I don’t think it will be smooth sailing…..

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